Stefano Domenicali has accepted an offer to work for the German manufacturer Audi. Earlier this week, we reported that the former Ferrari team boss could be moving to the Ingolstadt-based marque to replace Le Mans team chief Wolfgang Ullrich. It appears that was wide of the mark.
Germany's Auto Motor und Sport said Italian Domenicali, 49, will instead start in a non motor racing role on 1 November. But the news, reportedly confirmed by Audi, will almost certainly trigger a new round of speculation about Alonso's future.
Prior to his ousting by Ferrari, Domenicali was known to be close to Fernando Alonso, who according to Luca di Montezemolo is also leaving the Maranello team. Alonso's next stop is not known, but when he visited the fabled 24 hour Le Mans race in June, he stopped by the Audi garage. "It's a very attractive category for sure," said Alonso before officially starting the 2014 edition in June. "Definitely I will race here (one day)."
Whilst clearly negotiating with McLaren-Honda about 2015, Alonso has obviously also coveted a seat at the dominant F1 team, Mercedes. Team bosses have consistently ruled that out. Indeed, Mercedes chief Toto Wolff told Austria's Sportwoche this week: "Maybe he (Alonso) will leave formula one, take a break. This year he went to see his friend Mark Webber at Le Mans -- it is obviously a race that fascinates him." (GMM)