Carey to be non-executive chairman of F1 with arrival of Domenicali
Chase Carey is to take up a new role as non-executive chairman of Formula 1 with the confirmation of the appointment of Stefano Domenicali as president and chief executive.
Domenicali, the former team principal of Ferrari, will take up his new role in January of 2021, as the sport enters a new era with a renewed Concorde Agreement, covering commercial terms, signed with the participating teams, and a budget cap, which it is hoped will provide greater competition in the sport.
Carey (pictured), formerly a senior executive at Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation and Fox businesses, has been at the helm of Formula 1 since US media giant Liberty Media took control of the sport from long-time promoter Bernie Ecclestone at the start of 2017.
The sport retains its traditional high profile, and has made significant moves into the long-neglected digital sphere, but Liberty has come in for criticism for a perceived failure to meet its ambitions in attracting sponsors and taking races to new countries, while a gravitation from free-to-air to pay-TV has boosted revenue, but reduced exposure, in some of the traditional European markets.
As with all sports, 2020 has been a particularly difficult year for Formula 1 because of the coronavirus pandemic, with no races staged before July, although it is now on target to complete a 17-round season.
Carey said today: “It has been an honour to lead Formula 1, a truly global sport with a storied past over the last 70 years. I’m proud of the team that’s not only navigated through an immensely challenging 2020, but returned with added purpose and determination in the areas of sustainability, diversity and inclusion.
“I’m confident that we’ve built the strong foundation for the business to grow over the long term. It’s been an adventure and I’ve enjoyed working with the teams, the FIA and all of our partners. I look forward to staying involved and supporting Stefano as he takes the wheel.”
Greg Maffei, the president and chief executive of Liberty Media, said: “Chase has done a phenomenal job leading F1. He assembled a first-class commercial and sporting organisation that has a long list of achievements, including broadening the appeal of the sport, growing its digital presence, establishing new technical regulations, securing a cost cap for the first time and reaching a new more equitable Concorde Agreement with the teams.
“His actions have reinforced F1 as the pinnacle of motorsport. As always, he has been a great partner and I look forward to his continued counsel in his new role as non-executive chairman.”
Domenicali spent 23 years at Ferrari and was team principal from 2008 to 2014, a period which included the famous marque’s most recent title, the 2008 constructors’ world championship, and has remained involved in motor racing as head of the single-seater commission at the FIA.
The Italian is joining Formula 1 from Lamborghini, where he has been chairman and chief executive since 2016, having previously been vice-president of new business initiatives at the sportscar maker’s parent company Audi AG.
He said today: “I am thrilled to join the Formula 1 organisation, a sport that has always been part of my life. I was born in Imola and live in Monza. I’ve remained connected to the sport through my work with the Single Seater Commission at the FIA and I look forward to connecting with the teams, promoters, sponsors and many partners in Formula 1 as we continue to drive the business ahead. The past six years at Audi and then leading Lamborghini have given me broader perspective and experience that I will bring to Formula 1.”
Domenicali’s arrival is the latest of several changes in the management structure of Formula 1, with Sean Bratches having departed as managing director of commercial operations, and Murray Barnett stepping down as director of sponsorship and commercial partnerships, to be succeeded by Ben Pincus, formerly of Heineken, as director of commercial partnerships.
Mercedes have been the dominant force in the sport in recent years, winning six successive constructors' world titles and drivers' titles, five courtesy of Great Britain's Lewis Hamilton.