Grid, Silverstone, 2020

F1’s sprint race plan enjoyed “great feedback from everyone” – Domenicali

2021 F1 season

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New Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali says the series’ plan to hold qualifying sprint races at three rounds this year has had a positive reception within the sport.

Final details of the proposal are yet to be confirmed. The scheme needs the approval of the F1 Commission, which previously declined to approve similar plans for reverse-grid qualifying races, in order to be introduced this year.

Speaking in a Liberty Media investor call, Domenicali said the sport hopes to make race weekends more exciting by adding the extra races.

“Our objective is to try to offer to the people that are coming to the event, to the people that are watching television, to the people that are really fan of Formula 1, something that is exciting,” he said.

“So the idea that we have shared, and I think have received great feedback from everyone in the sport, is that we will try to figure out something that will give us a qualifying on Friday, Saturday a sprint race that will determine the great order for the Sunday race. That will give us the thrill of a great weekend that will be beneficial to all the parties involved.

Poll: Should Formula 1 trial sprint races during 2021?
“This is something that we are debating with the teams and the FIA in the next weeks in order to present the final format before the start of the season in Bahrain.”

Ferrari are supportive of the concept, according to team principal Mattia Binotto, who hopes a workable solution can be found.

“We are obviously very engaged in the discussion with F1 and FIA,” said Binotto. “We believe that changing for more spectacle and eventually for unpredictable races will be great.

“So we are proactive in the discussions, we are supporting a change if that change will achieve the goals and the objective I just mentioned.

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“Discussions are ongoing. The discussion at the moment seems at least to be promising for a good output. But still, I think we need to look at all the details – details we will make the difference in that respect. So I think [the] teamwork has to continue and hopefully we will find a good solution.”

Several drivers have expressed concerns that adding an extra race to some weekends would detract from the significance of the grand prix, a view echoed by Binotto’s pair. Charles Leclerc said the question of whether sprint races should award points also needed to be addressed.

“It’s quite interesting,” said Leclerc. “I think it should be tried at least then we need to understand how all of this will work with the points, et cetera.

Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, Fiorano, 2021
Sainz is concerned about having two winners per weekend
“The most important thing is that the main race remains the main race and that the value of the main race doesn’t doesn’t go down. So I think this is the main point on my side.

“But it might be interesting to try it, at least to have shorter races where we can attack more. So I will be happy to try it at least.”

Leclerc’s team mate Carlos Sainz Jnr said he wasn’t keen on the idea of naming two winning drivers during a race weekend, but was also open to experimenting with the format.

“It’s one of those things that until you give a first go at it you will never know exactly how it goes,” he said.

“I personally think it’s super-important that the main race, the grand prix, doesn’t lose value. It is a bit dangerous that sometimes there can be two winners out of a grand prix weekend. We need to make sure that there’s only one winner out of the race that we’re going to do a double race.

“But for the rest, I think if there’s a year that we should try I think it’s 2021. With the future ahead, I think it’s a good opportunity to try these kind of things and see how it goes. So let’s see.”

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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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107 comments on “F1’s sprint race plan enjoyed “great feedback from everyone” – Domenicali”

  1. ‘Everyone’ but the drivers and fans, it would seem…

    1. Indeed, this is an outright lie. Make a public survey and ask all the drivers, all the team bosses and the fans. Probably all three groups would give a negative answer with at least two going extremely negative. This is where having American owners doesn’t sound so good anymore, it’s a specific business culture that doesn’t suit a mostly European sport and its tradition. What they have yet to discover is that the fans want different things too.

    2. This is a pretty good site with a decent mix of worthwhile opinions in comments but there’s a definite an echo in here – I’ve seen other sites with a 50-50 split, from people that are moved to cast a (moot) vote. I haven’t seen a quote on the subject from all drivers but from what I have seen, clickbait rules eg. Perez calls it “risky” headline, article includes “I’m all for it”.
      I watched Bathurst sprint races over the weekend, an analogous challenge for Supercars to adapt a track known for often epic endurance races to a pair of sprints (The classic race will still be held in October). It didn’t compare, could be because the field was too light (last year’s champ went to Indycar and the living king of the mountain king retired) while the teams/names/sponsors have been shuffled in the battle to survive in a game shaken & diminished by manufacturer departures and peeking out from years behind a payTV wall. To me a three was a better show to be had in Saturday hosting qually + 20 lap sprint and a 3 hr race on Sunday (many other options including B2B with the classic… anything but a replay day).
      The Devil’s in the details. Liberty/FIA/promoters should have had their eyes opened by last year’s tribulations & tap dancing, hopefully that helps result in an interesting proposal.

  2. Not for me. That should seriously have been rejected.

  3. Very grown up comments by the drivers, as opposed by some journos and fans.

    It’s just a test.
    I applaud testing things which can give us more full on/out racing as requested by the fans.
    I’ll tell you if I think it’s an improvement or not after the test.

    1. +1

      It is the right approach and mindset to have. I for one am curious how this will turn out. Let’s try out that pudding!

    2. Yep that has been my opinion also, doesn’t hurt to try something as long as it’s judged appropriately on its merits.

    3. How about testing reverse grids races then?
      Or do I sniff a double standard in the air?

      1. Maybe you should test for COVID-19; your sense of smell is clearly off.

        1. he gave a valid question, and you mock him for it?

          1. That’s what this site’s comment section is full of. Rejection and deflection rather than mature discussion.

          2. notme, how is the 2nd question not ‘mocking’? Or should I ask you if you have double standards?
            And I gave an answer to that question. He cannot sniff double standards as there are no double standards!
            I am not against testing a reverse grid either; and I have never (check my comment history) argued against such a test.
            Although I do understand that there are bigger objections to that to keep the purity of F1 (fastest driver at the front).

          3. S, if you don’t want that sort of behaviour, why did you go and attack another poster in the same way then? You’re abusing others and then being surprised that people don’t welcome you with open arms.

          4. @anon
            There was no attack. There was a question: If one thing is worth a test, why not another?
            The answer is – for most people on this site – that they don’t like the other suggestion.
            It’s as simple as that.

          5. ColdFly (@)
            1st March 2021, 8:31

            S, don’t claim that “There was no attack” when you write:

            Or do I sniff a double standard in the air?

            And when you accuse somebody of ‘double standards’, then don’t start crying when they reply sarcastically.
            Because when somebody attacks you with a sneer, you suddenly play the victim:

            Rejection and deflection rather than mature discussion.

            Take it on the chin; respond like a (wo/hu)man, and pick up the discussion from there (you seem smart enough to detect my response in the sarcastic comeback).

            Your opinions are interesting enough to be a welcome addition to this site. But stop attacking people, and stick to your argumentation of the subject.

            And for me (some self reflection), I probably reply too often with sarcasm, and in this case I might have gone too far.
            But that discussion I need to have with my shrinks (oops, there goes my sarcasm again).

          6. Common practice by a lot of the fans here, not on the matter but on the other fans.

          7. @coldfly Did I make an accusation, or pose a question? You made an assumption about my intent.
            Just to be completely clear – my original response was intended as a general question to yourself, and – as this is a public comments section – to all readers who have changed their tune from “no we don’t want to test something” to “yeah, why not test something” when one highly subjective element has been omitted. And there are many here who fit that description.

            I apologise for singling your comment out and (mis)connecting you and your comment with the subject in general and other poster’s comments. However, I don’t apologise for any ‘attacks’ as I have never set out to do that. Challenge, debate and discuss, yes – but attack? No.

          8. ColdFly (@)
            1st March 2021, 12:29

            Can an accusation be hidden in a rhetorical question?
            You will probably assume correctly about the intent of this question.

            As you’ve noticed I have answered your first question; initially indirectly (which I thought a smart person would decipher) and later on more directly.
            Had you left it with the first question then I would have answered with the mature and direct answer.

            But you don’t need to apologise for singling out my comment to ask the question, and add (what to me seemed to be) an accusation. I am strong enough to respond to accusations, but – as you can see above – do not in all instances take the high road.

            You did disappoint me a bit though that you seemed to agree with Notme in that my reply was mocking, whilst ignoring the second part of your own comment which triggered that.
            I’d expected you to take that reply on the chin.

        2. You support testing this in a real-world environment, but you don’t like the other suggestion so you don’t support testing that in a real-world environment….
          Yeah… That smells exactly like double-standard to me.

          Preference is one thing, and that’s fine – but let’s not pretend. If straight ‘mini-GP’ style sprint races are worth a trial, then so are reverse grid sprint races.

          1. You are so wrong, and only believe in your own assumed truths, S.
            I have never voted or even argued against testing a reverse grid either.
            The only opinion I have shared, and still believe in, is that a reverse grid race should not be a race proper, and that there should be no points awarded for such a race.

          2. S some want to show they only know and are entitled to the truth. My suggestion is to stay on topic and dont bother with these fans.

          3. Mayrton
            This site certainly does have a distinct character all of its own.
            I generally try to tackle content more than commenter – however, it’s just the nature of the internet and relying solely on written communication (without delivery context) that can lead to miscommunication at times. Then it gets personal.

            I should perhaps have put a wink ;) in my original comment.

      2. I am for testing those too. Testing does not mean I want them to become the norm, I want to see the results before I decide it.

    4. @coldfly – I guess it depends on how one perceive things. Nowdays the term ‘show’ is used more often than not and, if that’s what F1 has completely turned itself, then it’s only fair to test every grotesque idea for the sake of amusement. You get novelty every now and then, curious fans, attention, lots of money… the machine keeps rolling.

      Now, if I’m to consider it a sport, then you can’t simply test things out of the blue. You can’t make an early match on football to decide who gets the kick-off and give it half-points, that makes no sense.

      IMHO, those ideas are just the manifestation of what’s really wrong in the sport: too much meddling trying to change what’s natural. For instance, domination is the embodiment of motorsport, but there are countless ideas to punish who has got the game right.

      Not to mention it can not be cost-saving when you get an actual race just for grid formation. I, for one, can’t see anything mature from that. F1 got caught on its own entropy.

      1. @neifer the rules of top-level pro-sports are constantly being tweaked and adjusted (often to improve the show).

        The “pre-game” game argument is invalid because there’s no qualifying session for most sports—so already it’s vastly different.

        I challenge you to find a top-level sport which doesn’t change things.

        1. ColdFly (@)
          1st March 2021, 8:54

          @niefer, I’m with @just-rhysism and accept that all sports have constant change and tweaking. It’s a thin line to determine what’s good and what’s not. But exactly therefore I argue here to test it rather than bluntly introduce it.

          Interestingly, motorsports are the only sport which use single lap qualifying to determine who can participate and where to start. All other sports use the toss of a coin, the current ranking, or a pre-match to determine that.
          One could argue that a sprint race is closer to that than a single lap. The latter is more like a penalty shoot out, tie break, throwing a single dart.

        2. @justrhysism and @coldfly – fair enough, though I don’t have objections with changes per se but with messing with what isn’t broken. To me, it should have a solid reason for substantial changes. I mean, the real challenge is to present a sensible reason to mess up what is arguably the only part of the weekend that is right so that it may have a pretend effect on Sunday. That, as if Mercedes wouldn’t remain 1st. Grid formation isn’t the problem.

          1. ColdFly (@)
            2nd March 2021, 7:55

            Agree with that @niefer.
            Though, I see (I seem to be one of the few) the sprint race test as an answer to the many complaints about a lack of full out racing, and too much PU/tyre/fuel saving.

            I think Liberty smartly chose not to create an extra ‘race’ which would have its own winner and award points, but instead made it an extension of the qualifying process. IMO the lesser of two evils.

            Maybe it should be a non championship race. I just wonder if you’d then see everybody bringing their A-game.

          2. Maybe it should be a non championship race.

            @coldfly – That I completely agree. Keeping the prize high and more room for sponsors like the entire name of the race instead of sharing the venue prestige, I’m sure smaller teams would take it seriously. For the big ones, good opportunity to test young drivers and make some money. Actually, it could be nice a young driver pre-race where there is no F2 round. Maybe even award some points towards a Draft or something.

            What I definitely would support is the introduction some unrestricted bits, though I’m sure that won’t ever come to the table.

          3. ColdFly (@)
            2nd March 2021, 21:49

            For the big ones, good opportunity to test young drivers

            That would be a shame, and you’ll lose my interest. Without drivers like Hamilton and Verstappen it would not be a proper race IMO.

            Let’s meet half way, @Niefer.
            Friday qualifying defines the Sunday grid.
            Saturday non-championship race only for fame and bragging rights, but if you don’t participate you’ll lose your Sunday grid spot.

  4. “Our objective is to try to offer to the people that are coming to the event, to the people that are watching television, to the people that are really fan of Formula 1, something that is exciting,” he said.

    To make out that this is for the existing fans is almost comical, but equally false to say ‘everyone’ in F1 is positive about it. Shame to see Domenicali like this. Just a lobbying lackey for Liberty Media.

    1. Liberty wants more marketable content to make ends meet. Some of that income flows down to the teams with only marginal costs. Anyone suggest a better source of revenue short of dragging in even more oligarchs, puffed up billionaires, dictators or hedge funds?
      I’m not opposed to watching more actual racing – the test will be if they can get close to matching the integrity of the current system.

    2. @balue Has he literally said everyone in F1 is positive about it? Or has he not just said that everyone has given him great feedback? In the article above it is the authors who use the term ‘positive reception.’ There’s a big difference. Great feedback can very much be opinions from some about their concerns for the DNA, or for not diluting Sunday’s races, or for whatever other umpteen things drivers and teams would not want to see in the format upon which they settle for a trial, along with their reasons why.

      It was actually great feedback from the teams that caused the reverse grids concept to be dropped. They obviously gave such solid reasons to not do it, that Liberty listened and stood down from it.

      1. Hey @robbie & @didaho just between uwes and me I can sell you Sydney Harbour Bridge at a good price, give me a ring.

        1. @johnrkh 😂 Tempting, but, bit of a commute from north of Toronto.

        2. Spot on, you have the same equity in the coathanger and F1.

        3. It’s not for sale any more – I snuck into the IPO a few years ago when that fatuous little bald guy with the inane moniker was flogging off all the assets he could see from his front yard.

      2. @robbie many would say it wasn’t “great feedback” that stopped Liberty Media from introducing reverse races – rather, it was the fact that teams voted against the proposal and wasn’t going to be able to overcome those objections. Even Jean Todt has put it on record that the FIA wasn’t that convinced by Liberty Media’s arguments either, having told Auto Motor und Sport that his preference was to vote against reverse races.

        With data from the public polls being hidden away and seemingly deleted after it suggested they were going to be strongly against the idea, an indication the FIA’s support was tenuous at best and a rather negative reaction from the teams, drivers and press, many would say that the only reason it got to the point where the reverse race vote was held was because Liberty Media were refusing to accept that “great feedback” and continued to push the idea until it became clear they were never going to get it passed.

        Even now, how can we say that Liberty Media are getting “great feedback” when Liberty Media hasn’t finished working out how those sprint races are meant to work? As stated in the article, the rules for the sprint race do not exist – we have a concept and a partial rule set at best, even though we’re barely a month away from the season starting.

        1. anon That’s fair comment. My understanding is that they got their feedback on reverse grids right away and that it was negative, from many angles. In fairness the ‘great feedback’ being referred to here is over the sprint qualifying concept.

          So regarding reverse grids, yes it was initially proposed, they would have received feedback, and when they put it to a vote it was voted down. The only reason they brought it back up for vote again was because they thought it would have made more sense during the pandemic same-venue, one-weekend-to-the-next phenomenon of last year, to avoid two weekends in a row of an identical looking event. It was voted down too, but I would suggest it might have been more palatable to some given the reasons for the new request, or at least not looked upon as ‘oh dear here we go again with this,’ but moreso ‘ok we hear why you are bringing it up again specifically for these pandemic influenced events, but still, no.’ This was not Liberty or Brawn being in denial nor trying to cram reverse grids down our throats, but rather, I think at least, a viable query as to a potential way to avoid two identical looking races. Fair enough…asked and answered.

          As to your last paragraph to me it is exactly great feedback when it would seem, unlike reverse grids, that from the getgo teams are far more open to the concept, which is feedback in itself, and then the teams are now involved by providing their great feedback, again, negative and positive, such that they can then play a hand in defining exactly what an acceptable format should look like.

          Reverse grids? That’s one specific format that is pretty self-explanatory, and has been historically unpopular. No need for a trial on that, we already know what that would look like.

          Using sprint races to race it out for pole though, as a potentially more exciting way to arrive at a pole winner? Hmmm, what of many ways can that look like and be done? Let’s explore. Let’s trial. Seems to me while the teams have the power to overshadow Liberty’s queries about reverse grids, they are not exercising same said power to vote out this trial, but rather are on board with at least formulating something and seeing for themselves. There’s obviously a big difference in the two concepts to them. Are they being asked to decide on an as yet defined format, or are they playing a hand in shaping it? Given that the teams have worked with Liberty on re-shaping F1 as a whole since they took over, I’m more than happy to hear of them also collectively agreeing the engine freeze, and now to provide their input on sprint qualifiers collectively.

        2. Feedback can be “great” and negative. The adjective “great” is a description of the quality and quantity, not the polarity of the feedback.

    3. Lobbying jockey? He is the frickin CEO and Liberty Media owns them.

  5. I think it should have been rejected, but if if F1 really wants (and will have) a Saturday race I have an idea: Create a Saturday Sprint Race Championship completely different than the F1 World Championship (like the FA cup and the Premier League):

    1- Call it the Aramco Sprint Race Championship
    2- Give all the teams one extra Power Unit just for the Saturday sprint races
    3- The starting grid for the first race could be a draw and after that use a reverse championship points grid (bad luck if you’re the first before Monaco)
    4- Just 1 tyre compound (the hardest of the Sunday race) and no pitstops with pit lane closed: If you brake the front wing or have a puncture and can’t drive you’re disqualified

    This way we hace a second race in the weekend without messing around with the world championship.

    1. Like this idea since it looks like we’re going to be force fed this. But if we’re going to play this game I’d steal something from aezy_doc, point structure change, but have the winner take 20 points all the way down the field to last scoring 1 (assuming all finish-0 points for DNF).
      Personally I never liked the change from points awarded to just the top six. This was the pinnacle of motor sports. Now to me it’s getting closer to “participation trophy” territory. Call me old school, call me purist. Ditch all the engine tech (complex power units), unleash the engineers and constructors to innovate, and let the drivers fight like the knights of old instead of being managers of tires and fuel.

    2. Not sure about the random grid for race one, but the idea of a separate FA cup-like championship that doesn’t affect the real championship sounds good.

    3. I think having the sprint race as a separate championship sounds good. Maybe this race could use some sort of standard engine, although that’s probably too expensive and unrealistic to happen. If the Sprint race was done before Qualifying then that might work better.

    4. Call it a trophy, like what we have for pole positions and fastest laps, sure. A “Championship” would be taking away from the real thing imo. Stick them in karts or something clearly not an F1 car and call it a championship but to have two championships in the same formula wouldn’t work I don’t think.

    5. Interesting idea @doctorlovesexy. My first thoughts were to make it a non championship race. Two championships could confuse casual viewers but I’m not sure if non championship would be any better. I think F1 will have some problems with this this idea that they or we don’t even know in this point.

  6. Could they have 3 championships? Sprint race championship for drivers, GP championship for drivers and the constructors world championship. The points for the drivers stay separate (so we end up with SprintWDC and GPWDC) the constructors points are the totals from sprint and GP. Sprint race points are much less than for GP (possibly 10,9,8 and so on). Won’t diminish the value of a GP win for the driver as Sprint would be a separate championship. Any cons to this idea?

  7. If the group he asked is the planners of this sprint race idea, then “everyone” is true… in amy other case, its not

  8. If the goal is (as he says) to make the weekend more exciting by adding those races…that’s strange. With its traditional raw-speed-single-lap format, the current qualifying is sometimes more exciting than the race…which often tend to be processional and predictable. I don’t get it. With reverse grids, I can see some extra action on track, actually, but right now, there is no point of giving the fans more of the same.

  9. So the idea that we have shared, and I think have received great feedback from everyone in the sport, is that we will try to figure out something that will give us a qualifying on Friday, Saturday a sprint race that will determine the great order for the Sunday race. That will give us the thrill of a great weekend that will be beneficial to all the parties involved.

    Sounds great… No really, what? Great feedback, great order, great weekend… There is absolutely no quanitfiable goals other than it will make everything great. Great plan…

    1. Even the ‘grid’ has become ‘great’ ;)

    2. “Make F1 great again” anyone?

  10. So will there be a trophy presentation with champagne and the victory song as well? Will a win count as a win or a pole or will there be a new stat for sprint races? One thing I’m certain of is the Grand Prix on Sunday won’t seem as special as it once was.

    1. I don’t think it will. In the past F1 drivers competed in different disciplines and it actually added something to the sport. There were non-championship races as well. I don’t see this as too different. There’s also multiple domestic and international championships in other sports (ie premier league, fa cup and champions league in football) and each establishes their own prestige. As long as the points are kept distinct to sprint race and GP then I’m happy to see it trialled.

  11. Negative feedback is also great feedback

  12. As a fan who regularly attends race weekends I don’t think this silly idea is making is any better at all.

    First off a single practice session on Friday (Which I believe is the plan) is taking away time from the best part of the weekend for those attending on Fridays because as i’ve argued before Friday practice is usually the best opportunity to go & walk around the track to stand at & watch cars from different corners. A single one hour session isn’t enough to fully walk the track & by the time you get to qualifying you want to be in a seat so you can fully pay attention.

    So for me attending a weekend is immediately less value as I won’t be able to do the thing I usually love doing on Fridays.

    Secondly having the real qualifying session on Friday makes it less accessible as with most people at work & kids in school you immediately make it so less people can attend and/or watch it live on TV. When they had qualifying on Friday in the past you always tended to have less people in the stands & the same will be true this time.

    And a gimmick race on Saturday in place of the real qualifying session is not going to be any more exciting in my view as the qualifying session is often the most thrilling part of the weekend, Especially when in the stands as you get to watch the cars on low fuel pushing flat out which is a thrilling spectacle to watch. Having a shorter gimmick race with all the difficulties in following, racing & so on you see in the proper race won’t be that good a spectacle at all.

    In every fan poll/survey that has been done over the years the results have always been that the weekend format was fine & that qualifying as it was was very popular. Only reason these gimmick races are been suggested is because Liberty want to Americanise the sport because it’s clear they want to make it nascar which is a failing series full of gimmicks that have turned off most of there fanbase.

    They don’t know what they are doing because it’s clear they don’t know there audience, If they did they wouldn’t be doing most of the gimmicks they have done.

    1. @roger-ayles Grasping at straws to increase profits ASAP. Remember when Bernie was suggesting water sprinklers to make it more exciting? These propersitions sort of put things into perspective don’t they.

    2. +1 great points made, as for the polling comment, the audience that F1 is trying to cater to has the patience and brain capacity of a squirrel and likely were too busy on Facebook or Tik Tok to take part in the poll.

    3. If you are talking about polls on this site (or other F1 enthusiast sites) – it’s no different to polling church-goers if they believe in carpenters who can rise from the dead.

      The current qualifying system is pretty good, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be better – and there’s only one way to find out what can provide ‘better.’
      We’ve also been screaming for 25+years that the cars can’t follow each other or actually race well, and how’s that improved in that time? They’ve allowed the teams to continue to chase laptime and downforce, going completely in the wrong direction.

      1. They’ve allowed the teams to continue to chase laptime and downforce, going completely in the wrong direction.

        But that’s what F1 is about. Always has been & always should be.

        F1 should be a sport before it’s a show & he biggest wrong direction F1 has been going in the past 20 years is putting the show above the sport. it’s turned off a lot of its hardcore audience chasing the low attention span casuals which is the same mistake nascar made when it became a show above sport. it turned off its dedicated fanbase & the casuals it chased after didn’t stick around leaving them with a fraction of the audience they once had. i fear f1 will do the same.

        1. If F1 want viewers to stick around, they need them to feel satisfied that what they are watching is worth watching again next time and the time after, and that it won’t be the same old show repeating itself for multiple years.
          Even the most ardent fan is getting tired of the consistency and predictability of single-team dominance, while trying to come up with excuses as to why F1 doesn’t suck as much as people say it does. And why they need to attract new viewers (because the old ones aren’t interested anymore).

          F1 simply wasn’t this monotonous for this long in the past.
          While they give the participants so much power to decide F1’s direction, F1 will continue to grasp for viewers in desperation – rather than naturally attracting them with exciting and awe-inspiring racing entertainment.
          The unpredictable and intense racing should be the show that attracts people – but right now it just isn’t.

      2. polling church-goers if they believe in carpenters who can rise from the dead.

        Interestingly, it is not widely believed that Jesus was carpenter. He is more commonly believed to have helped out his (earthy) father in his workshop.

        PS this is not meant to be mocking your comment, but merely discussing that part of your comment.
        PPS As I’ve stated before I agree that F1 can be improved and thus testing something new which reduces processional fuel/tyre/car saving races has my support in principle.

        1. So Jesus was like an elf in Santa’s workshop, or am I getting my folk tales mixed up again?

        2. The Apostle Mark described Jesus as “the carpenter, the son of Mary” (chapter 6 vs 3).

          1. I found it particularly poignant when Jesus was depicted as a carpenter who built crosses for the Romans in the Last Temptation of Christ.

          2. ColdFly (@)
            1st March 2021, 8:36

            I always thought there were some discussions about that translation, @drycrust.
            But checking it now, it seems that most western translations do indeed use the word ‘carpenter’.

    4. @roger-ayles Please list for us “all the gimmicks” that you are referring to and have a problem with, and I am talking about since Liberty took over and has allegedly introduced since it is now their bat and ball, not over the past 20 years when the bulk of that time was under BE/CVC.

      1. Some gimmicks that Liberty introduced, @Robbie:
        – strictly defining car design that makes it more difficult to create dirty air, and impede others from overtaking you;
        – limiting the money teams can freely spend to create an competitive advantage over others who cannot spend that amount;
        – sharing income more evenly between teams, rather than a ‘winner takes all’ scheme;
        – running two GP’s at the same circuit just to limit travel movements;
        – paying teams more than they deserved based on the revenue generated;
        – testing new formats rather than simply introducing them.

        Since stepping into F1 they single-handedly undid Darwin’s main thesis of ‘On the Origin of Species’.

        1. @coldfly The horror…the horror! What hideous wretches! Off with their heads!

          1. Don’t forget allowing the active participants to make/change the rules – something no other ‘sport’ would ever consider.
            And it’s not just what Liberty have done/are doing – it’s very much about what they haven’t done and aren’t doing.

  13. How about a Friday afternoon sprint race with all of the drivers on a go-cart track with equal equipment for charities of their choice? Entertaining, and it doesn’t mess with the prestige of the Grand Prix.

  14. It’s fine the way things are. Just leave things alone.

  15. The prize for the sprint race is position in the grand Prix start… So award points for fastest laps in the race – 5 down to 1… Everyone will be driving flat out then

  16. V8 Supercars hold two races on a weekend and a gazilion points are handed out, it’s a totally rubbish series! I’m guessing this is where the inspiration comes from, a cheap demolition derby Knock-down-drag-out style of racing, very popular in the southern states of the US.
    Is this where F1 is headed?

    1. If you’re referring to NASCAR… for a long time now, those fans come from all over the world, not just the South. Stop with the North/South stereotyping.

    2. V8 supercars is not an American series. And it at least has competition, although granted there is the usual strong showing from fhe big branded teams.

      On the contrary, F1 is a Mercedes Monopoly. V8 supercars does racing better than f1 then, despite your description of it.

    3. @johnrkh and this is my fear.

      I can only speak for my experiences with V8 Supercars. They used to run a format quite similar to F1 and then introduced a couple of short sprint races as a trial to see if it would be more popular. That then morphed over a fairly short space of time to what we have now and like you I no longer have much interest in that series.

      Whilst I can appreciate @robbie has a view that Liberty has done nothing but work to improve F1, I still hold the view that they are treading into a space that could ultimately destroy F1 in much the same way as the Supercars series.

      They’ve made it clear they want more races, the idea of sprint races is still high on the agenda, and whilst reverse grid has so far been put aside, it won’t take a big step to bring it back once sprint races (whether they be for qualifying only or points earning) become a thing.

      I think what bothers me the most is that a lot of F1 fans want to see big changes because they’re sick of seeing the massive dominance that Mercedes has enjoyed since 2014. The thing is though, it’s not Mercedes fault, it’s been the fault of the other teams for failing to bring cars and PU’s that are competitive enough. They have simply failed to do the most basic thing – compete.

      I’m “sort of” happy that the new regulations address the dirty air, and I’m delighted that they’ve finally brought in budget caps which I believe will most certainly start to provide some teams with more ability to compete, and I’d really be far more comfortable if these positive changes were given the time to reveal themselves before Liberty throws more, and possibly unnecessary change into the mix.

      Otherwise they run the risk of diluting the positives they’ve already done by doing a Ferrari “lets change everything at once” and ending up in a worse position than they were.

      1. Spot on, @dbradock! CoTD right here now.

        Also, good to know Domenicali has surrounded himself with ‘Yes’ people so soon. He’s hit the track running – no reverse grid effect for him. No reaching out and listening to a variety of viewpoints. He’s been fully Liberty-ized in record time.

        Can only be good for the stock price. And that’s the only thing that counts.

      2. @dbradock I do get the change too much at once analogy, but I don’t think it applies here personally, and it seems to me the teams would have to suddenly do a 180 on reverse grids for example, which seems so unpopular that that is very hard to imagine. But imagine it you must even when the teams have sent a strong signal on that.

        Sure Mercedes dominance has become the same issue that other segments of dominance in F1’s history was, but that’s been only one of the issues for F1, and to say you are ‘sort of’ happy with the new regs is to me like saying you are sort of happy there is still going to be F1.

        But no I really do get what you’ve been saying consistently about letting themselves sit with the massive changes they’ve made first. There is definitely something to that argument. A lot to that argument. I have said all along that if they change nothing in the end with qualifying after it is trialed I am absolutely fine with that. I just can’t sit and imagine the worst case scenarios as I can’t imagine that a potentially more exciting qualifying on top of the hugely necessary and exciting real and meaty changes that have actually been implemented by an entity that took over from BE and got it…got exactly what it was they had do, and put everything together to do so, could be F1’s undoing. Seems to me F1 has endured much worse to the point of it becoming literally unsustainable, so to consider these big changes as having likely completely reversed that, makes the ‘fear’ of an exploration of a more exciting way to qualify, a mere tiny side effect to a crucial life-saving drug.

    4. @johnrkh I’m really trying to think of a time when Supercars/V8 Supercars/ATCC didn’t run multiple races at the same event. Going back 35 years, the only times I can recall are for the major endurance events – of which there are only 2 per year. The rest all run races on both Saturday and Sunday.
      It’s nothing like NASCAR – the biggest similarity being that they both run V8-powered ‘saloon’ cars.

      @dbradcock How far back are you thinking about when they introduced sprint races?
      They were pretty short in the 80’s, and have generally been getting longer ever since – on average. A race of less than 120km is now quite rare.
      Considering several events run near-GP length races back to back over the weekends, I’d say it is very much less of a short sprint series than it used to be.

  17. Do qualifying and the bottom 10 have time to prep for a race. After qualifying have the bottom 10 race for 1 hour and award championship points 3, 2, 1. It will mix up the points in the lower midfield.

  18. I just hate the idea that the sprint race is the quali for the main race. Seems very unfair for the main event to be potentially messed up via an incident not of your making in the sprint race, so bad luck in one compounds to affect the other. If the sprint race was in isolation and the main race still has its own separate quali I’d be much more on board.

    1. That can happen in quali now (admittedly less likely). What it does do is give the stronger cars and drivers opportunities to make up for any errors in traditional style quali and be further forward to start the main race.

  19. His “everyone” is the same as Trump’s “everyone”, namely himself and everyone inside the echo chamber. Stop BSing us by saying that it’s “for the fans” when clearly it’s a money grab.

    1. Sprint races are gonna be YUGE!

    2. Coventry Climax
      3rd March 2021, 13:06

      @pastaman: 11.780 of + votes from me.

  20. Here’s a proposal for you. If they want to have a sprint race on a Saturday featuring F1 drivers then why not make it it’s own thing & don’t have it be a qualifying race, Don’t award points towards the F1 world championship & don’t use F1 cars.

    I’m thinking something along the lines of how they ran the old IROC series where they have a field of identically prepared & setup cars that drivers couldn’t adjust. Give them a 30 minute warm-up session in those cars & then send them out for a 45 minute race with the grid drawn from a hat.

    Drawing the grid out of a hat or something is gimmicky I know (And I usually dislike such things) but I see this concept as been simply a bit of extra fun at maybe half the races during the season & something that is a totally separate thing from the actual F1 race & championship. For something that is just purely for fun I think spicing it up with a few gimmicks is fine.

    Question would be what type of cars to run. I was thinking maybe updating some old F2 cars or perhaps buying/modifying the old A1GP, GP Masters or Superleague Formula cars or something but you could also use some sort of GT or LMP based cars. Guess you want something that’s cheaper to run, Reliable with enough spares & more importantly is as easy as possible to prepare as identically as possible.

    1. @stefmeister Rather than going away from F1’s DNA, like F1 has said they don’t want to do, how about they trial that for one hour on Saturday they use a sprint qualifier or two to determine the pole sitter for Sunday’s race rather than solo individual runs against the clock which we will still see on Friday for those who love that format. The winner on Saturday will be the exact same winner there is in the usual format. He will be the winner of pole position for Sunday.

      Why oh why this has to be made so complicated is beyond me.

  21. Regarding the quote from Leclerc, how does the sprint race allow attacking more? Surely the tyres will go away just as badly in a shorter race, and the dirty aero is still present.

    1. @kaiie Less fuel on board, so less stress on tyres throughout from the get-go. Additionally, the number of laps for the sprint races (23 for Montreal, 18 for Monza, and 24 for Interlagos) is roughly worth a single stint in a normal race, but the former is more relevant.

  22. I could be wrong…

    Ideas are still debated, qualifying for the sprint races – race before or points standings, or numbers in a hat, sprint races are not actual qualifying but different, extra sprint races are not a grand prix, points or no points for qualifying, F1 cars could be wrecked sprint racing or fixed for the grand prix if another driver caused the wreck, this still could go and on before or not…

  23. Sprint race is fine, but not to set the grid for the feature race.

  24. We used to have a sprint race called a Formula 1 Grand Prix. They have made it into an endurance race of engine management and tire management. If you want to make the event more exciting so bad, why not try and fix the racing Sunday? The truth is that they wish to expand the marketing platform not “improve the sport”. Liberty Media will happily throw away Formula 1 heritage to appease to what they think will best market brands to the “American audience” that they are so desperate for. Don’t fall for it.

    1. IVAYLO, have you ever read what the drivers had to do in the past? The fuel management that figures like Mansell have talked about in the 1980s, or Fittipaldi for races in the 1970s, or the way that drivers like Clark and Amon had to manage their engines during the 1960s?

      The whole “F1 is a sprint race only” mentality is really more modern than you think – did you, perchance, start watching F1 in the 1990s or 2000s? That is really when it became what you think it is – before then, there was a lot more management going on than you seem to think went on.

    2. Tyre preservation is totally normal – but the fuel and engine management/restrictions are among the most damaging sporting aspects currently installed in F1’s regulations.

  25. is this the beginning of the end? maybe not, but I would be too surprised if it was

  26. Domenicali was right … Great Feedback.
    Very likely not what he wanted, but witness the positive spin in action. Amazing.
    One thing to take from this, if you have a Qualifying session on Friday, then the weekend will be 3 days. The concept to get it down to two days is out. Good news for most.
    There are way more details to iron out than meets the eye.
    When does Parc-Ferme start, assuming you retain it? What work can be done on the cars after qualifying, or the sprint race? Do you still have Saturday practice after qualifying and before the sprint race? Which tyres do the drivers start on for the sprint, or is it their choice? Same question for the GP Sunday race and do they still maintain the gimmick of two compounds? Hopefully that last gets tossed.
    If the sprint race is as spectacular and exciting as it could be, what do they do when the main Sunday event turns into a fuel / tyre / engine management / saving procession? Ooops.

  27. I realize this is not a popular opinion, but I’m actually looking forward to the sprint races.

    As long as we’re not going to do the reverse grid thing (which I do think has value for F2) then it could make for some great races. If points are awarded for the sprint race (but significantly less than for the main race) it could be a great addition.

    As a fan, I’m always up for watching 2 races instead of 1. But like I said, I realize this is not a popular view.

    Anyway, roll on the start of the season!

    1. I dunno whether I want them to be permanant, but I like the idea of testing them.

  28. The only objective here is to try and get more viewers on a Saturday. It’s that simple.

    So long as NowTV only does a 24hr pass, and not an F1 weekend pass, I’ll never watch on a Saturday. The way it works currently is, if you buy a pass on Saturday so that you can watch qualifying, that pass then expires before the race on Sunday.

  29. The slippery slope towards fanboost has begun. Bah humbug.

    1. Uh, its just a quali race. Very much still merit based.

  30. “something that is exciting”

    I know they won’t bring back those proper V12 or V8 engines that were exciting.
    This qualifyingrace mashup isn’t exciting. It is a solution for a non-exiting problem.

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