Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has revealed that discussions are taking place between the series and new manufacturers that have expressed an interest in joining in the future.

The former Ferrari F1 team principal - who has most recently carried out senior road car-based roles at Audi and Lamborghini - has already had a busy first few weeks in his new position having revised the 2021 calendar amid coronavirus concerns, and is now turning his attentions to the future.

Among the key points of focus on the agenda is continuing F1’s push to attract new manufacturers, an ambition the championship hopes will be boosted by next year’s major technical regulation overhaul, which is aimed at producing better racing, creating more competition and lowering costs.

“I think that one of the biggest challenges that automotive manufacturers have today is to feel younger,” Domenicali told Sky Sports.

“There is this kind of fight between the old school of OEM [Original Equipment Manufacturers] and the new OEMs that are coming in the mobility side… But I think that the OEMs can use the platform [of Formula 1] to get also the fresh image they maybe need for the future.

“What I can say is that we are in discussions with other manufacturers. For the moment, they prefer to stay still quiet, but the good news is that there are other… companies, very important companies, that are really keen to understand what is the value that they can bring home using the F1 platform.

“But not only in terms of technology, in terms of also the value of what Formula 1 can bring to the automotive manufacturer.”

However, Domenicali admitted that new entrants are unlikely to be join until a new, cheaper and more relevant engine formula is introduced.

New power unit regulations are currently set to be introduced in 2025 but Domenicali hinted this could come even earlier as F1 looks to make investment in the championship more viable for interested parties.

“It’s not possible that the power unit in Formula 1 can cost what it is costing today,” Domenicali explained.

"I think there is a margin, a big margin on that, and one of the agendas that we have is that we would like to involve teams and OEMs to try and anticipate the new engine even earlier than what is expected of the regulation, and make sure that these kinds of things will be part of the agenda, and I’m sure we can do it.”

Domenicali also revealed that he is open to F1’s idea of continuing to explore possible alternative race formats for the future.

“We are thinking how to keep the racing format alive in a different way,” he added. “We are talking with the teams, because of course, it’s important to have the opinion of the teams, but also the opinion of the stakeholders and people like [the media] that have incredible experience.

“We’re going to have dedicated meetings to prepare the right offer. We need to be sure that we don’t lose any opportunity, and we need to be sure that we are not auto-referential in what we are offering, because this will be a big mistake.”

 

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