Unoficially we knew this for quite a while; now we know it officially: Stefano Domenicali will become president and CEO of Formula 1 next year.
One of the original “spaghettari” in the F1 paddock, Domenicali went through the Ferrari meat grinder and survived the experience.
Then later under his (some would say brilliant) commercial guidance Lamborghini injected a rather ungainly Urus into the blood of the 21st century SUV-loving crowd, which proved to be an instant sales hit. Whatever. I’m pretty convinced we’ll be looking back in horror at all these lines and creases with smiling mouths, sort of like you’d look at 1950s automotive design these days. Just plain monstrous! Meh.
SD’s choice makes sense as he knows F1 inside out, to Bahrain and back. I’m secretly hoping for less American bubblegum pop and more Italian opera action from Domenicali. Say what you want, we do not need repackaged freedom fries, while it works perfectly fine for Indy and NASCAR in the US. Good for them naturally, excellent stuff.
We casually asked Mick Schumacher, Jehan Daruvala and also Yuki Tsunoda what would they include on their Formula 2 “future generations” wishlist for Stefano?
Mick knew exactly what he wanted: “I’m quite familiar with Stefano. He’s a good friend of the family and he knows me since I’m a little boy.
“I’m definitely happy to get this news. He’s a great guy and I’m sure he’s gonna do very well in this position. For me, Formula 2 is a very difficult championship to be honest because you you only get that forty minutes driving before going into qualifying and I think that’s something which is difficult for rookies.
“Obviously this year is a bit different, we have new tyres. Most of the tyres are quite easy to drive, quite easy to handle compared to last year’s but I think (more) track time would be quite good for F2 in general. Just getting more track time, more tyres.”
Yuki was of the same opinion, although, unlike Schu fils, the Honda F1 Junior (or Honda Formula Dream Project as it’s known out there) didn’t really know Stefano since his Red Bull-powered childhood.
“Hmm, yeah. One more Free Practice would be much easier for the race weekend I think. With one FP and going straight into qualifying, the same as Formula 3, makes it (F2) a very difficult championship, it’s just 40 something minutes (FP), I dunno. Straight into qualifying, one set of new tyres so yeah.
“Just one more Free Practice would make life much easier for us.”
Jehan expanded on his concept of introducing changes to Formula 2.
“The main thing, what Mick said, would be just another set of tyres.
“Obviously we go from a harder compound to a softer compound for qualifying so it changes things and makes it harder for everyone. But yeah, just to see how the car would be on the softer compound in practice, maybe another set of soft tyres would be helpful.
“Also this way (as it is in 2020) it makes it harder and difficult for everyone. I mean, it (F2) is one of the most exciting series so I wouldn’t really change it much, to be honest.”