Stefano Domenicali to replace Chase Carey as F1 CEO
Former Ferrari team boss understood to be taking on role from Carey ahead of the 2021 Formula 1 season
Last Updated: 23/09/20 4:48pm
Chase Carey will relinquish the role of F1 CEO before the start of next season and will be replaced by former Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali.
It is understood by Sky Sports News that Carey, who also serves as the sport's chairman, will still have some involvement in F1 after the end of the year but will no longer be in day-to-day control.
The American replaced Bernie Ecclestone as Formula 1's chief executive officer in January 2017 after Liberty Media completed its buyout of the sport.
F1 are yet to announce the change.
Domenicali currently runs Lamborghini and is also the president of the FIA's single-seater commission.
The Italian's appointment means the two senior roles in motorsport, F1 CEO and FIA president, will be held by former Ferrari team principals. Jean Todt has served as the head of the FIA, F1's governing body, since 2009 although has said he will not serve beyond his current term into 2022.
Having joined Ferrari from university in 1991, Domenicali succeeded Todt as team principal in 2008 and oversaw their victory in the Constructors' Championship in his first season, the Italian team's last world title triumph. He resigned in April 2014 after the team made a poor start to the new era of hybrid-turbo engine regulations.
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The 55-year-old joined Audi later that year as vice-president of new business initiatives before being made CEO of Lamborghini, a sister brand in the VW Group, in 2016.
Sky F1's Karun Chandhok tweeted: "Stefano Domenicali is a great choice for CEO of F1! Knows the sport inside out."
Carey, 66, has recently overseen the successful conclusion of the sport's complex Concorde Agreement discussions, with all 10 teams signing up to new terms for 2021 which are designed to help level F1's financial playing field.
The former television executive has also constructed a much-changed 17-race calendar for this season after the sport's original plans for 2020 were turned upside down by the coronavirus pandemic.
Carey and Formula 1's quiet revolution
Analysis from Sky Sports News' Craig Slater
Four years ago, Chase Carey appeared with Bernie Ecclestone outside the latter's Princes Gate offices in Knightsbridge, London. It came an hour after Liberty Media confirmed they were to acquire Formula 1. What to make of Carey, the man named as F1's new chairman? There was the big moustache; suit jacket slung over his shoulder, in what emerged as his trademark pose; he was unassuming in tone. Did anyone expect the quiet revolution that would come?
Not Ecclestone. He expected to remain CEO for another three years. Four months later when Liberty assumed formal control, Carey told Ecclestone to his face he'd be replacing him as chief executive. Ecclestone didn't like it but respected the way Carey handled it.
If that act alone caused F1 to draw breath, those aware of Carey's background and achievements would have understood that once he was in control of the business he would mean business. A senior Lieutenant of Rupert Murdoch's, Carey was instrumental in the creation of Fox News and Sky Television. If some doubted his level of F1 knowledge so did he. "I plan to use my ears more than my mouth," was his early mantra in response to interview requests.
Yet he had a plan both in terms of what F1 should look like and how it should be governed. Hardened paddock insiders smiled wryly when he spoke of F1 teams working as partners rather than adversaries around the negotiating table. Heads were shaken when he talked of equalising the sport's financial structures. How would he face down the big teams especially when Mercedes and Ferrari seemed united in opposition?
Carey's Concorde Agreement, unanimously signed last month, may not be the full realisation of his vision for the sport. Ferrari still get the most money, for example. Yet it has radically changed the sport's direction of travel in a commercial and sporting sense.
Payments to the teams have been largely equalised, a cost cap imposed and the $200m bond for new entries has transformed all existing teams into more valuable franchises at the stroke of his pen. Thanks to Carey's close co-operation with FIA president Jean Todt, rules to be introduced in 2022 are designed to equalise the field and produce - as Carey put it - "the Leicester factor".
The chance for an underdog to win now and again. The same media individuals who shook their heads at Carey's prospects applauded him when he revealed broad approval for his plans in Abu Dhabi last year.
A couple of races ago I asked Red Bull boss Christian Horner what Carey's secret had been in terms of getting his plans accepted. His response was revealing: "Chase didn't budge a millimetre from the first plans he presented until he got the negotiation done."
On the steps of Ecclestone's offices that day in September 2016, Carey flatly denied to me he planned to "Americanise" F1. Perhaps in key areas it needed Americanising.
"He can do things that we didn't do," was Ecclestone's blunt assessment of Carey, who unbeknown to him was soon to remove him from office. Four years on, Carey can say he's indeed moved F1 into a new era.