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Domenicali considered quitting after Abu Dhabi

ESPNF1 Staff
January 4, 2011 « F1 too expensive for young drivers - Trulli | »
Stefano Domenicali: "Thank god it's not football!" © Getty Images

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali has admitted he considered quitting after a botched strategy at the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix cost Fernando Alonso a shot at the title.

Domenicali has been team principal at Ferrari since 2008 but has yet to preside over a successful assault on the drivers' title. In an interview with La Repubblica newspaper he said that if F1 was like football, he would probably have been looking for a new job.

"I know that people see me as the coach of Ferrari," he said. "But a team principal is something different. This is a business and I have to manage all the different aspects, not just the sporting ones. I take care of everything, so I delegate a lot, but saying that, you have to be ready for anything especially if there have not been the results you want for two years.

"But thank god it's not football! To rebuild in F1 takes months and years and from that point of view I have always felt a great support from the president and the shareholders."

Although he did not fear Ferrari's wrath after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the Italian admits he didn't sleep for two days and spent that time contemplating resigning.

"After Abu Dhabi I raised the issue personally. I wondered if it was the right thing or not to stay," he added. "I take it as a duty and I am not attached to my chair. But I came to the conclusion that stopping would be a mistake. I know the team and I think I'm the right person to capitalise on all that we have sown in recent months. From a methodological point of view, we have changed almost everything at Maranello and I am sure we will soon see the results of our hard work."

He also denied that Felipe Massa's poor season was due to the Brazilian's serious head injuries sustained in 2009.

"We made all the checks; as a driver and a man Felipe is perfectly intact," he insisted, arguing that as well as the technical explanations, Massa struggled psychologically at times in 2010. "I am sure we will see a great Massa in 2011. He knows that he can't afford another season like that."

Domenicali said Ferrari is now in a position to deliver the best possible car for the upcoming season: "The car of 2010 we had to start from scratch [after 2009]. Now we have a good starting point and a regulation change, so we have to make maximum use of our imagination for extreme solutions."