The growth story of Grand Prix racing has witnessed a rapid acceleration under the new ownership of Liberty Media. A vital factor in this expansion has been the adoption of social media platforms along with the commitment to invigorate fans through the Netflix series ‘Drive to Survive.’
Looking at the future prospects, Stefano Domenicali, the president and CEO of Formula 1, is eager for additional collaboration among teams in order to infiltrate fresh markets and grow the sport further. Historically, teams have been primarily focused on their personal interests, often obstructing rule amendments and rejecting new proposals that could potentially hinder their chances of victory.
The critical role teams play in deciding new regulations has often been an obstacle to suggested changes intended for increasing F1‘s fanbase. In an exclusive conversation with F1 Initiative, Domenicali expressed his belief that teams should now consider the broader picture, focusing not just on their competitive objectives but also on how to capitalize on the overall potential of F1 in the coming years.
Reflecting on the structure and rules, Domenicali stated, “Formula 1 has grown with the current structure and I don’t think it is possible to change it.” He further added, “And it has to be emphasized that the FIA must be responsible for defining and monitoring the regulations, and this is a fixed point.”
Highlighting a viable path to exponential growth, Domenicali urged for a transformative shift in the way teams operate. “When we are on track,” he said, “it is right that each team gives everything to impose themselves on their opponents, but there is also a moment when we need to come together and think about the good of sport – a good that then benefits everyone.”
He emphasized on everyone’s responsibility towards the sport, transcending their short-term personal gains. Recognizing some improvement in this matter, Domenicali envisioned, “There’s still some way to go.”
Domenicali revealed his discussions with the NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, who he invited to the Canadian Grand Prix to acquaint F1‘s world about a unique approach to dealing with challenges from a relational and governance perspective.
Referring to the meeting, Domenicali remarked, “In Canada we organized a meeting, where Roger Goodell was invited just to explain to our world of Formula 1 that there is a different way of dealing with issues from a relational and governance point of view. It was a very interesting testimony.”
He insisted on the significance of a shared collaborative spirit to handle common challenges, beyond the cut-throat competition. Stressing on the importance of this understanding among the teams, he succinctly concluded, “We need the teams to understand that there are interests that go beyond winning or losing the race on Sunday. We are getting there and I am optimistic.”