New Formula 1 CEO and president Stefano Domenicali’s background as Ferrari team principal will not be an issue due to his integrity, according to Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.
Domenicali (pictured at left, above, with Horner in 2013) was Ferrari boss from 2008 to 2014, and has since moved on to work at both Audi and Lamborghini. On Friday the Italian was confirmed as taking on the roles of CEO and president of F1 from January — replacing Chase Carey who becomes non-executive chairman — and Horner does not believe his Ferrari history will concern any teams in the sport.
“I think it’s great for the sport,” Horner said. “He’s one of the good guys. Having competed against him, when he was the team principal of Ferrari, he has a lot of integrity — he was a racer, a competitor, he understands the business.
“Obviously he’s spent life in a commercial world outside of Formula 1 for the last few years. He’s done a great job at Lamborghini and I think that he will be a real asset to Formula 1.
“Obviously you would look at the make-up at the top end of the sport with Jean Todt, Ross Brawn and Stefano and it looks like a mid-1990s or early 2000s Formula 1 setup, but I don’t think that there’s any particular bias or love towards Ferrari from any of those individuals, so I’m sure Stefano would be scrutinous in his impartiality.”
Horner himself was linked to the role leading F1 over the past 18 months but claims it’s not a position he would have been open to taking.
“I enjoy very much what I do. I am now, believe it or not, the longest-serving team principal in Formula 1 and it’s gone by in a flash. My motivation is to get the team into a winning position again. I love racing, I love competing, I love working with the people who are part of our team. I feel a responsibility to them, to Red Bull and so for me it’s not even something I would consider at this stage in my career.
“I think he (Domenicali)’s a great guy. We raced head to head against him for the 2010 and ’12 championships. He always had an awful lot of integrity, he was a gentleman and I think he will be an asset for the sport, he will be an asset for Liberty.
“He’s got that understanding and I think that as the sport evolves, he will bring a lot to it, so I’ve got no complaints from our side. As far as my own focus is, I just want to get this team back into a winning position. Mercedes have had it their own way for far too many years.”