Ferrari is a team that's used to being on top. It does, after all, have more world championships to its name – 15 drivers' titles and 16 constructors' – than any other team in the history of Formula One racing. But despite having some of the best drivers and resources at its disposal, it hasn't won a championship in over five years. Someone had to take the blame for that, and that someone turned out to be Stefano Domenicali.
The team principal who took over after Jean Todt stepped back to focus first on the running of the entire company and then the FIA, Domenicali has presided over the driest spell in the team's history since Michael Schumacher and Ross Brawn arrived in the late 90s to bring Ferrari back to its winning form. Whether that ultimately proves to have been Domenicali's fault or not, the buck stopped on his desk and he resigned a couple of weeks ago, making way for Ferrari's North American chief Marco Mattiacci to take the reins. At least for now, anyway, as rumors circulate of a longer-term solution that could bring Ross Brawn back into the fold following his recent departure from Mercedes.
The big question now, however, is what Domenicali will do next. The latest intel suggests that he could leave four wheels behind but stay in the field of competitive sports to coach an Italian basketball team. The rumors are fueled by reports that Domenicali has been in touch with Giovanni Petrucci, head of the Federazione Italiana Pallacanestro – Italy's national basketball federation. The organization runs two professional basketball leagues within Italy as well as its national team that's won eight international championships, two gold, four silver and four bronze medals in the European league and two silver medals in the Olympics.
While the move may seem a little out of the blue, it doesn't seem quite so odd when you consider that his former boss Luca di Montezemolo, also a one-time head of the Scuderia, once ran an America's Cup sailing team and orchestrated the 1990 World Cup when it was held in Italy.
Of course the rumors could amount to nothing, leaving Domenicali to look elsewhere. Ferrari has made no announcement of where he'll be going next, but the man born less than 49 years ago in Imola with racing in his blood could end up staying in the sport with another team, or within the company in another capacity or division. He has, after all, been working for Ferrari since graduating from business school at Bologna University in 1991, working in the bookkeeping department, then running the Mugello circuit (which Ferrari owns) before starting his climb up the Scuderia racing ladder all the way to the peak from which he most recently fell.