Stefano Domenicali may have paid the price for Ferrari’s poor showing in Formula One but it seems Audi were willing to pay a price for his services.
Domenicali started his employment with Audi on November 1st and now resides in the glamorous world of the company’s service and mobility arm. This unusually titled role, if it even existed before, seems far removed from Domenicali’s F1 past and there may be a reason for that.
Previous Ferrari boss, Luca Di Montezemolo, gave Domenicali his marching orders in May and probably also handed him a non-compete clause as part of his severance package.
It seems Audi have given Domenicali a role where he has no direct competition to offer the sport of Formula One.
Audi’s intention’s are purely to acquire him contractually before someone else does and most probably assigned Domenicali to a future motorsports role known only too both parties once the non-compete clause has expired.
Domenicali’s current position within Audi is just a corporate smokescreen, one can imagine the former Ferrari F1 team principle being debriefed by his German masters, Clock Work Orange style.
Its a clever move by Audi and has led to speculation that the company is pivoting for a move into building a Formula One team with Domenicali as its chief orchestrator. Audi have categorically denied this.
For now Audi have their man, it is not known when Domenicali’s non-compete clause expires, typically it ranges from a few months to one year.