Q&A: Stefano Domenicali on FIA Formula 4 in the U.S.

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MotorSportsTalk spoke with both Robert Clarke, president of SCCA Pro Racing and Stefano Domenicali, president of the FIA Single Seater Commission, in further detail about the newly launched F4 championship in the U.S.

Domenicali’s answers are below, with Clarke’s from Monday linked here in a separate post. Domenicali has adopted this new role after his previous role at Team Principal of Scuderia Ferrari.

The full transcript from last weekend’s press conference at Circuit of The Americas is linked here.

MST: You have entered this new role of course having had an open-wheel background, but from a team standpoint. Now from a governing body standpoint, how different is your role now, in terms of seeing this series come to light?

SD: Of course my experience before was on the other side of the table, but that’s part of the game.

From the governing body, as a member of the FIA, trying to do the best I can for the Single Seater Commission, we need to make sure to create a solid basis… that’s there’s a pyramid of growth for young talented drivers that is current, and that we need to make sure that in terms of regulations, sporting and tech regulations, in terms of costs, all the championships around the world are on a same basis. Of course each championship has a different platform, but the FIA needs to make sure they are run at the maximum professional level. On the technical side, and on the partnership side, this is my view the role we should play.

The other thing for sure is knowing how vital is the cost for anyone coming into the sport. We want to make sure the level of cost is affordable. This is the objective we need to make sure that happens.

MST: Why do you feel F4 in the U.S. is right for right now?

SD:  I have to say, why I’m very very pleased and proud to be here today, it’s because there was something missing. I had a little bit of… how can I say this… with the right words… not the right flavor (here). This platform all around the world without the United States, was not complete.

I’m really proud to see the passion through the ASN and ACCUS, and Nick Craw, (ACCUS) president, and that without him to be honest and his passion and push, it was very difficult. Without the passion and the professionality of SCCA, and the partners involved, now I would say the F4 step is almost complete. We have steps all around the world.

I want to think even further ahead, that this championship will be a success, but see what’s happening in F3 here… I want to see if we are doing a good job here. These steps will be… we’re required the second answer. At the FIA level, we need to think how to close that as soon as possible. This is the reason why it was important to us to come here, have the right feeling. It’s incredible to see the attention around this project.

MST: How important is it for the FIA to have a similar ladder on a U.S. front as international? 

SD: It’s fundamental. The dangers of motorsport in the United States is huge. It’s incredible. I have to say so far, it has been too disconnected from what we have in motorsport in Europe for example. With this platform, it’s the right hook, or right connection.

We will see for sure in the future, respecting what is the pinnacle of motorsport in United States, we don’t want to discuss about it. We need to make sure the basis is solid. This is the right approach, also Formula Indy, Formula NASCAR, so they can see this as where they have the talent for the future in their championships.