In September 2020, F1 announced that Stefano Domenicali will become the new CEO and President of Formula 1, in replacement of Chase Carey. The former Ferrari Team Principal began his new role as head of the sport in January 2021. As such, he gave to Sky Sports F1, an exclusive wide-ranging interview.
Stefano Domenicali said he was looking forward to seeing Lewis Hamilton take on the challenge of trying to become the sport's first eight-time world champion in 2021, as the sport waits on news of the Mercedes driver's contract renewal. Although having no inside information on the state of the talks between the F1's world champion driver and his team, Domenicali said he was eager to see Hamilton's latest attempt at history play out.
He asserted: "Lewis is a protagonist. [He] has in front of him an incredible possibility to become the best in terms of numbers. So the challenge there is incredible.”
"I'm really looking forward to seeing him fighting on the track with the way that he's also now behaving as a man, not only as a driver."
Considering the lack of a contract announcement at the moment, Domenicali conceded: "As you can imagine, I don't know any other information.”
"I'm waiting for the news for Toto [Wolff] to release, and for Lewis to confirm. Everyone is waiting for that. That's the same kind of attitude that I have like all the supporters of Formula 1."
The Italian manager reflected on the raise in awareness of F1 drivers to be more and more, the ambassadors of Formula 1 in highlighting and conveying social values, whilst reminding that F1 remains an apolitical entity.
He also mentioned how Hamilton combined his record-breaking track efforts in 2020 with playing a powerful role in the Black Lives Matter movement and using his platform to fight against racial injustice.
"What is good is that drivers more and more realise that they are the ambassadors of Formula 1, in a different dimension,"
"Not only in terms of technical skills but also in terms of the way that they can put out the right message of Formula 1. I think they will appreciate that.”
"Of course, we don't want to be political because that's not our business, but we want to highlight the values of society."
The 55-year-old affirmed that the driver’s displays in support of diversity and equality that took place pre-race during the 2020 season will go on in 2021 as well, as a signal of the sport to keep highlighting these important values.
"Diversity and We Race As One will give us the opportunity to highlight the time before the starting of the race to use these minutes to highlight values related to this programme and to this specific subject," said Domenicali.
"What we have in mind is to use this time to share with the drivers and the teams how we can implement the attention that the F1 world will have to have not only to the end of racism, but to the diversity and We Race As One programme."
"We will use this moment to make sure that everyone will understand that Formula 1 is not living out of this world. Formula 1 wants to have an active role in enhancing these values."