Toto Wolff says Ferrari “wouldn’t have accepted” him as F1 CEO

© Daimler AG

After ex Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali was announced as Formula 1’s new CEO, current Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff explains why the role was never in the cards for him.

Wolff has been talked about for a long time as a possible replacement for F1 CEO Chase Carey, but ultimately the position went to ex Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali. The Austrian says he never actually put his name in the hat for the position.

“I think everybody knows that there were some initial discussions with Greg [Maffei, Liberty Media CEO] and it never went anywhere,” said Wolff.

“We get on well. I respect Greg Maffei a lot for what he has achieved.

“But I love where I am, and I found out that I love the stopwatch so much, the competition and the racing, that where I am today, co-owner of the team with Mercedes, I have to pinch myself every single day.

“At the end, it wouldn’t have gone anywhere anyway, because Ferrari wouldn’t have accepted that.”

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And Wolff is probably right as Ferrari CEO Louis Camilleri said in December that if a person currently linked to a Formula 1 team took over as F1 CEO, it would “automatically create conflicts of interest, perceived or otherwise”. This is why an understanding has been made that a person that has been employed by an F1 team in the past two years can’t be appointed.

Wolff went on to comment on the fact that Ferrari wouldn’t have accepted him as CEO.

“That’s OK, they have this right. I respect it, absolutely. I would probably have had the same thoughts.

“At the end, maybe a different decision, because you’ve got to have the best guy to run the sport. But I think they have the best guy today.

“Stefano is just the real deal,” concluded the Austrian.

However it is important to note that currently three top Formula 1 management positions are held by ex Ferrari key personnel. Former Ferrari team boss from 1994 until 2007 Jean Todt is the President of the FIA, former Ferrari technical director from 1997 until 2006 is Formula 1’s managing director, and now former Ferrari team principal from 2008 until 2014 is the CEO of Fomula 1 for Liberty Media.


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