Lamborghini may have picked up the former head of Ferrari’s F1 team as its new CEO, but that doesn’t mean it’s about to launch into grand prix racing itself anytime soon. This according to the man himself, Stefano Domenicali, as reported by AutoWeek.
The 51-year-old Italian started working at Ferrari straight out of college in 1991, managing the Mugello circuit before rising up the ranks of the Scuderia – until he was replaced as team principal in 2014. He was hired by Audi only months later, and was rumored to be working on launching the company’s F1 program. But the diesel emissions scandal shook up the entire Volkswagen Group’s plans. He was ultimately placed as chief executive of Lamborghini, with predecessor Stephan Winkelmann moving to Audi’s Quattro GmbH performance division.
His arrival in Sant’Agata, however, doesn’t mean that he’ll be steering Lamborghini towards entering Formula One. The company’s only foray into the sport saw it supplying V12 engines from 1989 through 1993 (while the company was under Chrysler ownership) to teams like Lotus, Ligier and Minardi, achieving a solitary podium finish with the Larrousse team in a Lola chassis at the 1990 Japanese Grand Prix.
The company’s founder Ferruccio Lamborghini otherwise famously shunned racing, in stark contrast to his rivals in Maranello. Today the company makes GT3 racers, runs its own single-make series, and has a driver development program. “You cannot think of a brand like Lamborghini without motorsport,” said Domenicali. But as for F1, “I have to say this is not the priority, because we have other priorities above this.”
The Bolognese automaker is in the process of bringing the Urus crossover concept to production, and is significantly expanding its production capacity to prepare for its arrival. All the while, the company continues to launch new versions of the Huracan and Aventador as well as limited-run supercars for high-rolling clients.