Lando Norris, Sebastian Vettel, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020

Double-header F1 race weekends “might make sense”

2020 F1 season

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Holding two Formula 1 races per weekend could help the series hold sufficient world championship races this year, says McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl.

The championship must consist of at least eight races according to the regulations. However F1’s valuable broadcasting contracts – one of its key sources of income – are believed to specify a higher minimum number of races which the sport must satisfy.

Seidl said teams must be “open and flexible for new ideas or for ideas that help us to do as many races as possible, as long as it makes sense also from from the commercial side.”

Running two races per weekend could reduce the total number of races weekends which are held and therefore ease the burden on staff, Seidl added.

“The most important thing is to protect our people, so if we can help our people by doing two-day events, it make sense. In terms of format of a race weekend, again, if there’s a commercial reason behind it, yes, it might make sense to do two races at a race weekend.

“But I think as long as this is not the case, for me the event format we have at the moment with qualifying highlight on a Saturday and the race on Sunday is working quite well and I don’t see why we have to touch this again unless there is a strong commercial reason in special circumstances this year.”

“It might make sense to do two races at a weekend”
Other measures to ease the strain on staff could include imposing longer curfews on working hours during race weekends and a reduction in pre-season testing for the 2021 F1 season, made possible by the fact teams will continue to use their current cars next year.

“[It’s] definitely something we have on the radar,” said Seidl. “Again the most important thing is to protect our people.

“I don’t see the race weekend itself as being the biggest issue. The biggest issue is the number of days we are all away from home. That’s not different for [the media].

“So if you can help that by having two-day events or by skipping one test, for example, next year, in addition to the cost savings, that will come from that as well, I think it’s definitely something which we need to look into. And these are also discussions that are happening between the teams, between FIA and Formula 1 as well.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 8 comments on “Double-header F1 race weekends “might make sense””

    1. This hybridization doesn’t help anyone. F1 and all the people discussing it look like a peak of incompetence when, in the midst of this crisis, they’re coming up with the most unrealistic scenarios which change from week to week. Some sort of hybrid season with multiple races on a single track, double raceweekends etc. would be hardly legitimate in terms of results, and it would surely make F1 look like a circus in the coronavirus aftermath. I believe the worldwide situation won’t allow the season to go on.

      1. I don’t prefer double races on the same track configuration. But I am all for multiple races at the same venue with different track configurations.

        There seems to be many tracks where multiple configurations are feasible with minor tweaks. It could be 2 corners changed at some or major layout changes at other circuits.

      2. José Lopes da Silva
        18th April 2020, 11:34

        I really hope they’re not listening to your arguments. If they cancel the season, do it for lack of business sustainability, not because of sacred and untouchable models and traditions.

        I’m even hoping that they quickly allow constructor to sell their chassis to new teams so we can 26 cars, like the tradition says. In fact, we should have 30 or 40.

        No one today says that 1982 was not a proper F1 season. Start the engines before everyone goes bankrupt and we end up with 3 teams, like in the USA GP 2005 – which was, indeed, “hardly legitimate in terms of results”.

      3. To me it is pretty irrelevant whether they race on the same track configuration twice, or actually change things in between @f1mre @pironitheprovocateur. I think that the novelty of having that many races would last about a week or two for a large portion of the audience.

        I get that they might have to do this in order to salvage the money from the likes of Sky to fullfill the contract for a full season. But with so many races in a short time, especially while more or less all large sports are cramming as many events into a short timeframe at the same time, I really can’t see the viewing figures being much to write home about after maybe the first event or two.

    2. He along with Zak Brown and Seb has been the voice of reason most recently more than anyone else.

    3. It’s alright having double-header weekends. However. Teams will have to have to have plenty of spares which may well be beyond some teams resources with fly-away races.

    4. Well, I ask myself if I would watch an F1 race on Saturday then watch another race on the same track the next day. Nope, I’d get my bike out and go riding.

    5. Might as well drive all races on one track.

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