Wolff doubts Ferrari would have accepted him as F1 boss

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Mercedes F1 chief Toto Wolff doubts Ferrari ever would have accepted him as Formula One boss, but says he never had serious discussions about taking the job anyway.

Former Ferrari team boss and sporting director Stefano Domenicali will replace Chase Carey as CEO in January. Carey has run the sport since Liberty Media completed its takeover in 2017.

Wolff praised the appointment, saying: "Great move from Liberty.

"I think Stefano is foremost a man with a great personality, integrity and knowledge of the sport ... I think he's a great choice for the role."

He added: "[Domenicali] knows the sport inside out and I think sport comes first. He's going to stay away from, in my opinion, artificial things.

"He's a purist, but equally understands that you need to keep your spectators and your audiences interested. That balance is really complicated to have right, and I think he will get it right."

Wolff had been suggested as a candidate for the top job in the past but, despite preliminary talks with Liberty president and CEO Greg Maffei, he said he could not have moved away from the competitive side of the sport.

"Everybody knows there were some initial discussions with Greg and it never went anywhere. We get on well, I respect Greg Maffei a lot for what he has achieved, but I love where I am.

"I found out that I love the stopwatch so much, the competition and the racing, that where I am today, co-owner of the team with Mercedes, I have to pinch myself every day. In the end it wouldn't have gone anywhere anyway because Ferrari wouldn't have accepted that."

Ferrari has a historical veto due to its long stint in the sport -- it celebrated its 1,000th race at the Tuscan Grand Prix earlier this month.

When asked if he really thinks Ferrari would have blocked any move for him to take over, he said: "I know that, but that's OK. They have this right and if you have that right it's very easy to. I respect it, absolutely.

"I would have probably had the same thoughts. You've got to have the best guy to run the sport, but I think they have the right guy today, Stefano is the real deal."