Outgoing Formula 1 CEO Chase Carey believes his successor Stefano Doemincali is “ideally suited” for the role given his vast experience in the sport.
Former Ferrari boss Domenicali will take over from Carey in January 2021, with the American taking a backwards step from running F1 after four years at the helm.
Speaking to F1’s Beyond the Grid podcast, Carey explained why he felt Domenicali was the perfect replacement, sighting that it was the right time for someone with a motorsport background to take over the reigns.
“I’ve had the privilege to get to know Stefano, he runs the FIA Single-Seater Commission and obviously knows many of the players in the sport, [he] pre-dates me but certainly he has got a track record that speaks for itself in the sport,” Carey said.
“I came into this as an outsider and I think there’s some value in coming into the sport as an outsider because we felt it needed significant change and fresh perspective. Going forward, now what we felt was right was we want somebody who can maintain the momentum and continue to build on what we think we’ve put in place to grow the sport.
“One of the important things Stefano brings is the deep knowledge of not just the sport and the competition on track but the players in the sport and therefore, in many ways, he can hit the ground running in terms of taking things forward.
“Stefano also brings a unique personality to this that is somebody that has great respect. Sometimes I feel like in this role you’re sitting at the eye of a storm with a lot of partners circling around and I think he brings a balance and certainly an even-keeled personality that can navigate through what at times can be very noisy situation.
“The combination of unique expertise and experience with the personality that can navigate through the various dynamics that exist really make him ideally suited to this.”
Since Liberty Media acquired F1 from CVC in 2017 it has shared its vision in trying to make the sport more competitive, with the introduction of a budget cap next year and major overhaul of the technical regulations from 2022.
It has also considered making changes to the current format, with an attempt to push through a reverse grid qualifying sprint race at select races for this season.
The idea failed to gain full backing from the teams with Mercedes opposed to the proposal, and opposition has grown with the fear reverse grids would devalue race wins.
While Carey said respecting F1’s history and traditions were important, refusing to consider changes for the benefit of enhancing the spectacle meant the series risks becoming a “straightjacket”.
“Most sports, when they’ve talked about changes, the hardcore fans resist change,” Carey said.
“Major League Baseball, when they had a designated hitter, everybody didn’t like it. The NBA put in a three-point line, the hardcores didn’t like it. You added teams to play-offs, you used to have the league champions play in the World Series, this year they had 16 teams compete.
“Really in most of those cases, not all, but in most cases, those changes have ended up being viewed as positive, bringing fresh energy, bringing a fresh perspective.
“I think you have to be careful that you don’t gimmick-up the sport, that you’re recognising the importance of history and the importance of what has made this sport special, but not let that become a straightjacket that doesn’t enable you to consider changes that may truly enhance the sport for fans.”