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F1 teams urged to change mindset and help grow series, says Domenicali

Formula 1 teams have been urged to change mindsets and work together more off track if the championship is to maintain its growth trajectory, says CEO Stefano Domenicali.

Elon Musk, Stefano Domenicali, CEO, Formula 1, Greg Maffei, F1, Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing, talk in the Red Bull Racing garage

Grand prix racing has enjoyed a huge expansion under new owner Liberty Media, with the decision to open up social media channels and commit to the Netflix: Drive to Survive series seen as pivotal aspects in attracting new fans. 

But as Domenicali eyes opportunities to make F1 even bigger in the future, especially by tapping into fresh markets, he believes the key to achieving it is more collaboration among teams. 

This is something that has not historically happened as teams are pretty self-centred when it comes to blocking rule changes and putting a hold on new directions if they feel it could stop them from winning. 

With teams having a key say in new regulations, this is something that in the past has been a block on making proposed changes to help boost F1's popularity. 

In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com, Domenicali said he felt that the time had come for teams to start thinking bigger picture rather than only about their own competitive fortunes if F1 was to achieve all that it could in the next few years. 

Speaking about the role that teams played in the rules, Domenicali said: “Formula 1 has grown with the current structure and I don't think it is possible to change it.  

“And it has to be emphasised that the FIA must be responsible for defining and monitoring the regulations, and this is a fixed point.  

“But what I see as an opportunity for growth is a change in the approach with which teams manage themselves in this scenario.  

Mohammed bin Sulayem, President, FIA, with Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes-AMG

Mohammed bin Sulayem, President, FIA, with Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes-AMG

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

“When we are on track 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.  

“In this scenario, everyone should contribute beyond what may be to their personal benefit in the short term. I believe that on this point there has been some progress, but there is still some way to go." 

Domenicali said he tried to emphasise this point at the Canadian Grand Prix, when he invited the commissioner of the NFL, Roger Goodell, to his regular meeting with team principals to discuss how things work in such a top-line sport. 

"In Canada we organised a meeting, to which I sent the general manager of the NFL, Roger Goodell, 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. It is right to be opponents on the field of competition, but outside there are common themes that need to be addressed with team spirit. 

“In our case, 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."

Additional reporting by Roberto Chinchero 

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