Former Scuderia Ferrari chief Stefano Domenicali has been talking about the pain that an F1 title defeat can inflict on a team and a driver following Sebastian Vettel’s recent loss to Lewis Hamilton.
Domenicali was the Sporting Director through Ferrari’s “Golden Years” with Michael Schumacher dominating Formula One.
He was subsequently promoted to Team Principal in 2008; with Ferrari winning the Constructors’ Championship – but suffering the narrowest of defeats to long-serving rival Hamilton, who just beat Felipe Massa.
This season, it wasn’t as close, but that doesn’t mean there is no pain there for Scuderia and Vettel. Domenicali was reminiscing on the 2008 World Championship and *that* final lap in Brazil.
“Twenty-three seconds. I remember it like it was yesterday!” the former Ferrari boss said. “Everyone was already screaming but I was watching the GPS and I saw Lewis approaching and when I noticed that in the penultimate corner he was getting closer, I said… well I cannot say exactly what I was thinking!
“But I turned around and on the screen, Felipe’s family were cheering. I said: please tell Antonio (Felipe’s father) that unfortunately, we have lost, it was really tough.
“But if you look back at the image of the podium, Felipe was so proud of what he was able to achieve. I was really impressed by his reaction.
“I remember later on we were in the room where he was changing. His wife and family were there and we didn’t say anything because… what can you say? When you lose this way it hurts a lot!
“You come out very strong after these things because it hurts physically,” concluded the now-Lamborghini boss.