Domenicali, my Imola

In proposing the following text for your reading, I apologize in advance to my friend STF, valiant cloggaro.
And to all those, not a few!, who see Stefano Domenicali as the dark evil of F1.
Obviously I don’t want to convince anyone and, moreover, the thirty-year friendship with the last team principal who won a world championship with Ferrari (constructors 2008) is a mystery to me. And I keep quiet about the three titles lost in the final race of the championship (notoriously, after the unfortunate management of the Dom, the Red team has always fought to the end for the championship triumph, of course, of course).
I went to talk with Stefano at the University of Modena.
Sold out.
Very young and very young people adore the F1 of the present.
It goes without saying that these people don’t understand, that they mistake sport for wrestling, that they are dazzled by a passing fad and we (that is, many of you) have the truth in our pockets, pure and hard and screw anyone who thinks that the kids of 2024 may have ideas that are different from ours, that we are no longer kids.
Sorry: you are wrong.
I apologize again and I inflict on you the Domenicali thought, as written for the paper newspaper.
Happy Imola to everyone.
“Well, theoretically I should be impartial, I know. But I have my own story and so I say it: I hope that in Imola, which we find again after the 2023 flood disaster, Leclerc’s Ferrari wins…”
Stefano Domenicali returns home. Great leader of post-modern F1, Bernie Ecclestone’s heir does not forget his roots. “I’m from Imola and as a boy I entered the circuit on the sly, so as not to pay for the ticket – he confesses – Of course now I invite everyone not to imitate me…”
The Dom and I met the Economics students of the University of Modena. Sold out, confirming a surprising reality: the Grand Prix public has changed its skin. That is, identity card.
“That’s right, from 2020 onwards the average age of F1 fans has dropped from 50 to 35. And there is a growth in female interest of more than forty percent.”
How did you do?
“We have opened ourselves to the world! I know there are those who accuse me of attacking the tradition of motoring, but it is not only an ungenerous observation. It’s just wrong.”
“At the center of everything remain the races, the cars, the drivers. No one can deny this! We, I mean like Liberty Media, have worked and are working to offer a spectacular show. A Grand Prix must be an event, a moment of aggregation, of collective celebration.”
Super Bowl style.
“In fact, in the middle of the Super Bowl, Springsteen or Beyoncé sings but no one thinks of saying that the American football game matters less”.
What do the numbers show?
“Revenues have more than doubled. We invested in the darkest period, that of Covid. And we will continue on this path: innovation, sustainability, respect for History, with a capital letter.”
But can there be an F1 compatible with the ecological transition, with green mobility? Isn’t there a contradiction in terms?
“For nothing! By 2030, F1 will be carbon neutral, with zero emissions.”
“You will see. We are focusing on synthetic petrols for the power units. Incidentally, I don’t believe that electric is the only solution for production cars. A dogmatic approach is unrealistic, pragmatism is needed. And we will contribute, with racing, to a rational change.”
Speaking of GPs: is it true that Imola and Monza are at risk of disappearing after 2026?
“No but it is true that Italy, as a country, must make a leap in quality in terms of infrastructure. This doesn’t just apply to racetracks, it’s a general discussion. Then I, with my origins, will do everything to ensure that Imola and Monza remain on the F1 map. But it doesn’t depend on me.”
Do you want to talk a little about Ferrari?
Would Domenicali, the Cavallino team principal, have hired the almost forty-year-old Hamilton?
“I answer like this: age in today’s motoring is not a limit. Alonso is older than Lewis and does splendid things…”
So the answer is yes.
“I believe that for Hamilton the Red is a regenerating challenge. The Mercedes crisis will be transformed into a stimulus.”
And Leclerc?
“Leclerc is very strong. If I still had a Scuderia, I would always want it with me.”
Yes, but Verstappen always wins.
“Who is a phenomenon animated by a maniacal passion: when he’s not on the track he’s on the simulator, he never gives up. However, this year Sainz and Norris beat him and I hope they aren’t the only ones.”
Will Adrian Newey wear red?
“Question to ask Fred Vasseur”.

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