After Liberty Media took over Formula 1’s commercial rights on the 7th of September 2016, Chase Carey has replaced Bernie Ecclestone as CEO of the Circus. In the last three years, under Carey’s guide, F1 has added GPs to the calendar, partnered with Netflix, virally spread on social networks and, in general, rejuvenated the overall face of the sport. Still, Carey seems to not have closed enough major deals with huge sponsors and apparently this could lead to his replacement at the end of 2020.
Speculations called out, among others, Toto Wolff’s name. Mercedes’ team principal since 2013, the Austrian has played a key role in creating possibly the strongest ever team in Formula 1. When asked, Wolff stated there was “an agenda behind it”.
That’s something F1 teams wouldn’t like to see, according to Ferrari. In particular, Ferrari’s CEO Louis Camilleri had some strong words on this eventuality, by labelling it as ‘a conflict of interest’.
"I think that anybody who's really been an active and important player in a certain team within the last years, to take on the responsibility at F1 would automatically create conflicts of interest, perceived or otherwise" Camilleri declared in an interview. "So I personally think it would not be a good thing as to who should ultimately run F1.”
It’s important to keep in mind Ferrari’s chance of putting a veto on decisions –even if it’s maily used for regulation matter-, still Camilleri said it’s not likely to be the solution: "The veto is sort of the last-resort tool. Should we be confronted with that I think we would explain our position quite clearly to the folks at Liberty, Greg in particular, and I think we would have a constructive conversation."
On the other hand, Ferrari’s CEO praises the work of Carrey: "He's come out from a world that's really entertainment. He had no background in Formula 1. I think you need a CEO, because it's a public company, who has experience in essentially the entertainment business” and explains once again why it would be a wrong call to choose Toto Wolff: “if Mattia Binotto [Ferrari team principal] was the candidate to replace Chase Carey, I think the rest of the paddock would not be too happy with it. It's just logical."