Exclusive: Domenicali’s faith in new fuels, new race formats and optimism for F1’s future


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Stefano Domenicali enjoyed a stellar motorsport career with Ferrari before resigning his sporting director role in early 2014, taking full responsibility for Ferrari’s poor performance at the start of the hybrid era. That he chose to take the fall rather than blame a subordinate speaks volumes about him.

Audi came calling, appointing him vice president for new business – euphemism for ‘investigate F1’ – and the word within the Four Rings is that the board came within a week of approving a programme, then ‘dieselgate’ contaminated the Volkswagen Group. Rather than retrench Domenicali when the project was axed, he was elevated to CEO of (Audi-controlled) Lamborghini. Simultaneously he was president of the FIA Single Seater Commission.

After F1 CEO and chairman Chase Carey achieved his stated objective of renewing the (2021-25) Concorde Agreement, F1’s commercial rights holder Liberty Media sought a replacement for the retiring then-66-year-old US media executive. As RaceFans revealed last November, Domenicali was recruited to the position of CEO and president of F1, with Carey taking a non-executive chairman role.

Rather than embark on a media blitz immediately after assuming office Domenicali chose to re-acquaint himself with the F1 Group. Thus, almost six months later we connect on Zoom for one of his first exclusive interviews in the run-up to the Styrian Grand Prix.

The F1 field of 2021 is “incredibly strong”, says Domenicali
What are the three biggest changes in F1 that he’s noticed since departing the sport a little over seven years ago, I ask.

The internal dynamics have, he says, remained similar, but “I would say the relationship between teams, the commercial right holders and the FIA are for sure different. There is more involvement [in the overall process] now.

“The second point is there are more drivers that are incredibly strong and an asset for the future. There were a few [top level drivers] in the past, but in terms of quantity and quality it is really much higher.

“The third one is that in terms of the fundamentals, you can see the teams are thinking in different ways, mainly the big teams. When I left Formula 1 the top teams had basically no limit in terms of budget, no limit in terms of approach.

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“I already see now that these teams are thinking of Formula 1 in a different way, and the smaller teams now can see the Formula 1 of the future being an asset on which they can develop a real business.”

One of the biggest changes during his ‘absence’ was the change of commercial rights holder – from venture fund CVC Capital Partners to Liberty, which triggered a management change from Bernie Ecclestone and his coterie to a team of professionals appointed by Liberty. Was Domenicali comfortable with the manner in which the changes were managed?

Domenicali took over from Carey (right) at the end of last year
“We must not forget one thing: Bernie created Formula 1, and when there was this change of management or ownership from the one who created [something], it was logical that it would be different. It’s human, and business-wise it’s also different.

He believes Carey did it “the right way because you cannot do a sort of ‘copy and paste’ of Bernie and the style of Bernie. Chase took responsibility in a situation that was not easy at all, he did an incredible transfer to what is today Formula 1 from what was created by Bernie and during the CVC time. It has evolved in the right way, and I see a very strong future.”

How, then, does Domenicali see the immediate future, particularly given that the current engine regulations expire in 2024 and Concorde runs a year beyond that?

“I think this year will be very important for many factors. From a sporting point of view we see incredible energy: [F1] is back again, the races are very, very interesting. There are new ways of presenting Formula 1 through different platforms, engaging new fans in a different way.

“Formula 1 is once again in the spotlight – we will have new grands prix, new venues and we will have the possibility of involving other partners in the future to make sure that the future of Formula 1 is great from the show point of view.”

In this regard, consider the latest addition to the calendar, Miami, the Russian Grand Prix’s move to Igora Drive in 2023 and F1’s latest partner, namely Crypto.com.

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“We must not forget that we are entertainment with a pillar of technology, of course,” he continues, emphasising the tech angle. “We are in a transition phase where we want to keep ahead of that because we don’t want to forget one thing: In terms of efficiency Formula 1 has been always ahead; we were the [sport] that introduced hybrid technology in 2014, when no one thought it was the right direction to go.

Start, Formula E, Rome, 2021
A Formula E merger does not appear to be on the cards
“Now we have an increased level of hybridisation and sustainable fuels that will represent an [alternative] for the transition [from fossil fuels] because there are so many internal combustion engines around the world that it will be impossible to think that there is only one way [forward].

“Formula 1 will once again be the leader in this direction; I think there are incredible years [ahead] where we will once again have the possibility of, internationally speaking, being at the [cutting] edge and at the top of world motor sport.”

Having variously analysed the topic of sustainable fuels and the global ICE park I follow his logic and largely subscribe to it. But on the day before our interview, his former employer Audi announced its last ICE-powered European model would be launched in 2026, and that the marque will go full electric thereafter. Is it realistic to believe manufacturers will enter F1 under such circumstances?

“You will see very, very soon,” he smiles, the implication being something is bubbling under. As for the electric ‘threat’ to F1: “I can say what I’m saying because I’m a responsible guy, [but] everything I hear about the numbers about full electric [cars] is not real. But this is not my business.

“I just want to make sure that our platform can offer a different way of meeting global [sustainability] objectives in a realistic way.”

Porsche, Formula E, 2021
Porsche may be considering a Formula 1 programme
Is he 100 percent sure an incoming manufacturer will come in? “No, I’m saying that other manufacturers are interested in attending these discussion, because they feel this is a great opportunity to be involved. It depends on all of us to ensure the platform is the right one for everyone.”

Shortly after our interview it emerges that a power unit summit will be held during the Austrian Grand Prix, attended by Ola Källenius (Mercedes), John Elkann (Ferrari), Luca de Meo (Renault), the latest member of F1’s engine club, Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz, plus, crucially, Oliver Blume (Porsche) and Marcus Duesmann (Audi), FIA president Jean Todt, Domenicali and other FIA and F1 luminaries. Still, attendance at a summit does not presage commitment to F1’s future engine regulations. The two VW Group brands regularly attended engine discussions in the past, yet did not reach for their pens.

There has been considerable speculation Formula 1 and Formula E could merge eventually. Domenicali’s response indicates this is not a priority for him.

“I say in life, ‘never say never’. I think that today for Formula 1 and Formula 2, Formula 3, all the formats we have in our platform, are very strong and very solid. I think Formula E, with respect, will have to think about its future, and if that future is interesting for Formula 1, I think we’ll be ready to discuss [convergence] but it is something that’s not on our agenda.”

2021 F1 car wind tunnel model
New rules planned for 2021 will arrive next year
Next year sees all change in terms of Formula 1’s technical regulations –The latest iteration of the expected product of the rules is due to be officially revealed shortly. It’s designed to encourage overtaking, but will 2022 really deliver what fans have craved for many years now?

“I think that in terms of performance one of the things that was discussed during the changing of the car is to ensure that in terms of technical challenges all the good drivers can have the right way to show who they are,” says Domenicali. “The objective is to make sure that the gaps between the last team and the first team is smaller.

“Maybe in the beginning it will be difficult because we are in a process of transition, but the new regulations will allow, and this is the intention, for the teams to be closer and to make sure that if there is a difference that the gap will be [tighter]. By doing that we’re going to have the drivers [displaying] the skills they have.”

Domenicali suggests that F1 may not expand to 25 races – the 24 outlined in the Concorde Agreement plus one which can be added by full team consent – which implies either losing some venues or rotation of circuits. Clearly, though, he hopes to retain all events, but concedes some may not be willing to “invest with us, which is fair enough.”

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Zandvoort, demonstration run, 2020
Domenicali is impressed by Zandvoort’s F1 business model
“We have a lot of requests that can fill the calendar gap,” he explains. “I give you one example: Zandvoort. They have an incredible business model with a private organiser who can do the business in a profitable way without governmental funds.

“So, it’s the time for everyone after Covid to maximise our business in the right way, now is the time to be creative. I think it’s time to show that there is a possibility to be in this business and make money.”

F1 must guard against believing that its traditional methods and structures are perfect, he says, citing experimentation with the sprint format as an example.

“Sometimes it’s better to think that, without reinventing the wheel. The idea of this year doing something different in terms of race format is connected to the fact that we cannot sit here thinking that what we have is always perfect. That [philosophy] must be applied to future calendars.”

But are races too driver-dependent? Would Zandvoort have a sustainable business model without the Max Verstappen factor?

The Nürburgring and Hockenheim flourished during Michael Schumacher’s heyday. But would Silverstone be expecting a race day crowd of 140,000 next month without Lewis Hamilton?

“You’re definitely right,” he concedes, then points to his opening comments regarding the number of top-level drivers which in turn enables the sport to grow in more regions.

Zhou could become the first Chinese driver to race in F1
“It will be great to see in the future an American driver, we’re going to have a Chinese driver… So, these are countries where the link of the growth is not only linked to the growth of the show itself but is also linked to the fact that people recognise the [local] face.”

Already McLaren has confirmed its IndyCar star Pato O’Ward will test in Abu Dhabi in December and Alpine is giving Guanyu Zhou a run first practice at the Red Bull Ring this Friday.

Formula 1’s first ‘Sprint’ race will take place next month with the backing of a major new sponsors yesterday, cryptocurrency platform Crypto.com. Domenicali indicates the innovations won’t stop there.

“We don’t see [sprints] happening every race,” he confirms. “But what we can see is that we can [experiment] on different points, or with a trophy or titles in the last event we can create the atmosphere of special occasions that give an extra taste on what we are offering.”

Thus, F1 could conceivably introduce European or Americas or Asian Cups, while additional points for selected races cannot be ruled out. Given this year’s financial regulations, introduction of the sprint format and next year’s swingeing regulation changes, could these not alienate traditional fans, particularly given the rate and pace of change?

“If you look back, how many technical regulation changes have we had? How many qualifying format changes? When I [returned to F1] I did this kind of exercise [to remind] me how many things we did in 30 years, and we have been positively surprised by the fact that so many [changes] have happened. I think that’s the right approach.

“Traditional fans shouldn’t be worried because we are keeping the face of what we’ve done in the past.”

Report: How will Formula 1 decide if ‘Sprint’ races are a success? Ross Brawn explains
December sees the end of Todt’s reign as FIA president, under the governing body’s statutory term and age limits. Given all three presidents (Jean-Marie Balestre, Max Mosley and Todt) during Domenicali’s F1 tenure significantly influenced the shape of F1, is he concerned about the impact of the elections on F1? The next president could conceivably be, I suggest, an electric mobility advocate…

“As we know, the FIA has to take care of all motorsport, and the mobility side. It’s a big institution with a lot of different [responsibilities]. We are a little bit selfish in thinking we are very important due to the fact that we represent a portfolio of different championships and Formula 1 is, with respect to the other championships, I would say the most important one.

“Traditionally the relationship has been very strong despite different personalities [of presidents]. This is, of course, the case today with Jean Todt, the current president. As far as we know there are two candidates that have presented their programmes, and it will be relevant to understand from them what are their ideas.

“We’re going to discuss, we are going to listen with a lot of attention to what is in their programmes, and it will be vital that Formula 1 stays at the centre of the interest of the FIA, knowing that they have to do a lot of [different] things.

“I’m sure that we’re going to find the right relationship for the future,” he concludes.

Is Domenicali concerned about the future? “No,” he states, “because I think that we have the knowledge to ensure that the future will be very strong for Formula 1.”


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45 comments on “Exclusive: Domenicali’s faith in new fuels, new race formats and optimism for F1’s future”

  1. Lovely hero pic with the guy failing the simplest of tasks.

    Is there anything less becoming of a CEO than running around in a uniform with your name embroidered on it?

    “Now we have an increased level of hybridisation and sustainable fuels that will represent an [alternative] for the transition [from fossil fuels] because there are so many internal combustion engines around the world that it will be impossible to think that there is only one way [forward].”

    This is a horse-racer telling horse breeders, horse owners and horse users around the world that horses will continue to be the premier mode of transportation because there are already so many horses around and a magic new feed will make them faster and stop them from pooping all over the streets.

    It’s bad logic applied to an industry deep into a paradigm shift.

    “Having variously analysed the topic of sustainable fuels and the global ICE park I follow his logic and largely subscribe to it.”

    You keep ignoring that these ICEs destroy themselves through use, and production of fresh ICE is collapsing at a rate that makes not just production but upkeep unrealistic far earlier than you can apparently imagine.

    Synthetic fuels are a desperate attempt by fossil fuel companies to stay relevant and keep their valuations up. They are not financially viable. No infrastructure to produce them on scale exists, nor will it in the next decade. They are a fata morgana.

    1. @proesterchen I think you’re missing the bigger picture. Yes, car manufacturers are slowly going to move away from ICE as soon enough it won’t be the cheapest/most convenient way to move people around the place. That doesn’t necessarily mean the end for the ICE though as there are lots of scenarios out there where it’s going to be more effective than carrying electric batteries.

      F1’s already shown in the hybrid era that it was able to move a highly mature tech forward by 15%(?) in efficiency. I’m sure there’s lots of interest in what it could to sustainable fuels and how it’s advances can be pushed out into other established modes of transport ie trucks, boats and planes which might not be ready to go electric for some time yet.

    2. You would be right.
      If you ignore the current fossil fuel supply chain which is the only one that can sustain the volume of global transportation. Also fossil fuel companies do not stand alone, there is a whole system along that for now needs to keep running for everyones sake.
      Inevitably ICE is going to become obsolete forr commercial use, but we are so far from having a purely electified vehicle fleet, at first in city centers. And this is in Europe, Im not talking about poorer and much less urban populated areas.
      We need to have a intermediate fuel solution until we can store energy in sustainable means (not lithium).
      Being able to run synthetic fuel within the current infrasructure is an efficient solution.
      Last but not least F1 has nothing to lose if it continues this way, FE is leading the electric race atm.

    3. actually quite smart to have a name tag when also wearing a mask.

      1. Yeah, with his nose totally exposed…….. pretty smart indeed.

      2. When partially wearing a mask… just have a partial name tag.

      3. Who is the guy in blue then???

  2. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
    30th June 2021, 12:54

    In the near future, in terms of cost and the environment, battery electric vehicles will always win.

    The reality is EVs are already cheaper in total cost of ownership and the new battery technologies coming will be much cleaner and easier to recycle. On top of that electric production is becoming greener rapidly.

    ICE are nICE, but also a vICE.

    Although if we can produce clean cheap fuel alternatives then I’m fine with that. I just don’t see it happening.

    I think F1 has 10-15 years of ICE power remaining at most.

    1. I dont agree as I do not believe in electric. It is the wrong direction. The burden on the environment of electric cars is at par with ICE’s. It just takes place more centralised geographically. So while we might all be happy with ourselves in our zero emission cities, these batteries needs to be produced, shipped and handled as waste. The overall impact on the climate vs ICE’s is 0. The sooner we realise electric is a waste of time, the sooner we seriously will look for alternatives.

      1. these batteries needs to be produced, shipped and handled as waste.

        Producing clean and total zero emission batteries is already planned for 2024; it just still a bit more expensive than the ‘dirty’ ones.
        Scale, regulation, producers push, and consumer preferences will drive it further in this direction.

        I suggest you bookmark your comment and review it in five years (or less).

        1. I hope you are right!

      2. I was of the same opinion as you untill i got to see what over 10-20 years is going to take over the battery market. There are coming Batteries who are easy to make with normal dirt as matrial clean to make and to be used as you use petrol to refill is even faster then you can add 30 liters in your car.

        So what Jff and Biskit boy says is not wrong it’s really coming.

        1. I also hope you are right!

        2. Ian Jonathon Sedman
          1st July 2021, 19:23

          What you say is correct without question… My point is not the emissions of the vehicle. It’s the impact on any countries electric power grid and produce more emissions for the delivery of extra power. New power plants possibly too?.
          Just my opinion and questions I’m happy to be proven wrong. That’s how we learn.

        3. @macleod

          You are making an absurd claim. ‘Dirt’ is not even a material.

          This is taking wishful thinking and making confident statements with no actual knowledge to another level.

          1. Are you kidding this is not what i said it’s what that professor said when you went after batteries.
            Project was to his pupils (university MI) I get some dirt and favorly LOCAL dirt and that was the principe to make bateries. Not sire how it’s called in English they used molten salt or something called that and that was the first batteries with matrial you can get out “dirt”

            Professor Donald Sadoway at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has pioneered the research of liquid-metal rechargeable batteries, using both magnesium–antimony and more recently lead–antimony.

            just search for it!

          2. @macleod

            You are extremely hard to understand, as your writing merely has a semblance to English.

            Dirt is not a chemical compound, just like rock. What you are saying is like: you can turn a rock into a car, when you actually mean that you can use steel for a car, where some rocks have the metals in them that make steel.

            Antimony is a rare element, btw, so your attempt to portray it as common by concealing it as ‘dirt’ is just a form of deception.

          3. @aapje, I am sorry to hear i am not understandable but i never learned to write English as in My school time i had to work at a early age. What i write is what i picked up during work, television, vacantions and MMO’s (this was a great way to keep contact with my foreign friends) …. So My English is mostly American with some English. Yes I love games and play lots of Boardgames (even designed some) so the step to computergames was not to hard.

  3. there are so many internal combustion engines around the world that it will be impossible to think that there is only one way [forward].

    I bet Blockbusters felt the same way about DVD and Video players.

    Sure Blu-ray’s are still around, but the rental business model died due to this kind of logic.

    I think it’s inevitable that F1 will be dragged kicking and screaming to EV’s

    1. @skipgamer Sure if there was an EV equivalent to the improvement that came ‘overnight’ from VHS tapes to DVDs, that would be one thing. But EVs still lack big-time compared to the convenience and the infrastructure in place for ICE vehicles. I think hybridization will be with us for quite a long time yet.

      1. Don’t forget Netflix used to post out DVDs from your wishlist….

    2. @skipgamer

      Keep in mind that plenty of technologies don’t make it. It’s very easy to predict what technologies won out in the past, but a lot harder to predict the future.

  4. OK VW are stopping all sales of ICE in Europe by 2035, Honda have said they will fully electric in the US by 2040. GM has just announced they are going full electric by 2035. Ford is moving a bit slower saying they expect their global fleet to be 40% electric by 2030. Toyota will stay with hybrids for a while yet.
    Renault have just signed a deal with a Chinese battery company to build a factory in France. Nissan are building a new battery plant in the UK shortly.
    The push from the public via governments should not be taken lightly and must be taken into account as attitudes are changing and with them the laws regarding pollution. The ball is in F1s court lets see what they do with it.

  5. ICE engines will be around for a much longer time than European auto makers envisage. Primary market for EV’s is the European suburban user. A market Volvo and Audi sit in.

    However vast tracts of the world will continue to rely on the ICE engine. You will not get battery power for many many years into the river barge traffic in the Mekong Delta or the Amazon or even the Mississippi.

    Not to mention Caribbean or Pacific Island nations that need those giant diesel fueled electricity generators to keep the lights on and industry (as it is) alive.

    Think any of those people care if Audi or Volvo stop making ICE powered cars when their suppliers are Hino (Toyota), Mitsubishi, Yanmar, Nissan to name a few.

    What those regional areas have in common is a very poor electrical grid to even begin to be able to have electric engines replace the diesel.

    Adelaide in South Australia installed a $50M Tesla battery system to store wind driven electricity. That $50M outlay is only good to supply 30K residential homes for one hour before needing a 24 hour recharge (if the wind blows). How many second or third world countries can afford that?

    The demise of the ICE engine (at least in diesel format) is many many years away. Poorer nations don’t have the financial or physical ability to replace the diesel generation with solar, wind or hydro plus battery storage. Nor do the people in those places have the finance available to convert to EVs’.

    If we take here in New Zealand as an example, the mediun vehicle purchase price (cars) is NZ$20K (second hand Japanese imports — many driven to 300,000 kilometers for very little maintenance cost) ). Whilst the medium price for a new EV is NZ$50K to NZ$80K. Who, (as the NZL government is finding out) in the general populace can afford to step up to an EV?

    Not withstanding the fact that EV’s are in most cases coal powered through a sturdy and extensive national electricity grid. Not many second or third world counties have that in place.

    An electrical grid that cannot for technical restraints (max 60 amps per household draw capacity) will trip out if everyone plugs in their EV for charging at the same time. Sure you can plug in a EV but turn on your electric stove, water heater, or other high draw appliance and pffft, you blow a fuse. LPG or CNG is being phased out along with coal here in NZL (thanks to the Greenies) for an all electric future. A future many citizens (least of all the country) cannot afford to upgrade to.

    1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
      1st July 2021, 7:33

      With the greatest of respect you are looking at this the wrong way. Yes, ICE cars will continue for quite a while in ever dwindling numbers, certainly in the poorer countries. That is why the onus is on those countries who can afford to make the switch to do so, helping the poorer ones where possible. Even if it means some investment.

      EVs are way more efficient and cleaner than ICE even when the electric is produced by coal fired power stations. EVs are about 75-90% efficient, ICE are generally about 20-30% and last year in the UK only 35% of electricity production was from fossil fuels. I’ve never considered myself a “Greeny”, just pragmatic. I switched to an EV to save money. I paid £3k more for my used EV than the equivalent ICE (8k v 5k). In the 3 years since I’ve saved 5k in fuel, maintenance and tax. I charge at home and only need public chargers about 10 times a year. I realise my example isn’t totally representative, but its not unique either. Yes its a faff to go longer distances but the financial gain is worth it. I don’t need to mention the ecological benefits.

      We are on the beginning of the S curve upslope. As more and more EVs flood the market in the near future, the fossil fuel industry will become less profitable, filling stations will begin to disappear hastening the move to electric.

      The UK power grid operators have said there will only need to be gradual and affordable improvements to the power grid for electric cars (I guess they will have extra revenue!).

      I can understand your viewpoint especially as NZL isn’t as far down this road as the UK, but its a road we all must take. F1 may or may not (I think it will have to).

      Interesting times…

      1. @sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk

        EVs are about 75-90% efficient, ICE are generally about 20-30% and last year in the UK only 35% of electricity production was from fossil fuels.

        This is comparing apples and oranges. Electric propulsion typically involves multiple energy transformation steps, as well as transportation and storage losses. If you burn fossil fuel in a electric plant, then you have energy losses there, as well as energy losses when transporting the electricity to the car. Then the car battery will discharge over time as well, causing more losses.

    2. I think you should take a look in liquid metal batteries who is coming first to the market which is best used at those poor countries where the sun is avaible. Those batteries can store energy without noteable losses which means in combination of sun and wind they never need any power centrale ever.

      1. @macleod

        Unproven technology…

        1. @aapje, Not really the only thing is pratical application which is now is worked on. It’s now on the same level as Lition 15 years ago big but useable in remote area’s….

          You will see in the future some NASA missions powered by these.

          1. @macleod

            Not really the only thing is pratical application which is now is worked on.

            That’s…what I’ve been saying. There are literally zero real world applications of this technology, nor is there large-scale production.

            I assume that you are not an engineer and thus have no idea how difficult or even impossible it can be to take those steps.

  6. He surely meant more than Porsche and Audi would take part in the power unit summit. To me it could only mean they will join Red Bull Powertrains, or eventually take it over which is quite exciting.

    About the European- Americas- or Asian Cups, that’s such marketing gimmick rubbish it’s doomed to fail.

    1. @balue My interpretation of what Horner said of the Powertrain Unit is that he would certainly entertain a discussion with a partner (I think he was being given the name Porsche as an example) for that would just be smart to do, but that ultimately they don’t want to be a customer of someone else’s pu. I think their first and foremost goal is to be able to design and manufacture their own pu in house by 2025. To have compiled the staff and expertise to be able to do so by then. I envision something like that, with perhaps some expertise shared by Porsche for some aspect of it, or perhaps him poaching some of their staff, but I don’t really see Porsche or Audi taking over Red Bull’s Powertrain Unit.

      With cost caps and better money distribution what I do see though is Porsche or Audi having a hand in the meetings and discussions and perhaps being satisfied enough with the 2025 pu formula that they will want to become either a team on their own or a pu supplier to other teams.

      1. Interesting points @robbie

  7. In terms of efficiency Formula 1 has been always ahead; we were the [sport] that introduced hybrid technology in 2014, when no one thought it was the right direction to go.

    Um… Le Mans had hybrid power back in 1998 with the Panoz Q9, in 2011 with the Hope Racing Oreca chassis, in 2012 with the Audi R18, and The Nurburgring 24 hours had a 911 hybrid in 2010.

    The thing F1 introduced in 2014 was pulling energy from the MGU-H, but hybrid technology existed prior to that and even in F1, which had KERS in 2009.

    1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
      1st July 2021, 12:27

      No to mention Formula E in 2014 which in terms of efficiency was and is ahead of formula one.

  8. The Ranting Brummie
    30th June 2021, 18:26

    No soul.
    Any of it.

    1. Soul has been gone for a long time.

  9. ian dearing
    30th June 2021, 18:56

    So have I missed something here? Whoever gets pole on Friday in Silverstone will not be credited with pole n the record books. It will go to the guy who wins the Saturday race?

    1. Of course not. The pole winner for the books is the one who wins pole for the race. Sprint Qualifying is what will determine that on Saturday. Sprint Qualifying is merely a different way of qualifying for Sunday’s race.

      1. Sprint Qualifying is merely a different way of qualifying

        Yesva worse & significantly more gimmicky way.

        Qualifying should be about pure speed & the starting order for the grand prix based on lap time rather than some gimmicky race.

        It’s such a joke.

        I’ll just be ignoring the sprint race. Real qualifying will be on Friday & whoever gets pole on Friday will for me be the real pole winner. Results of the saturday race will for me simply not count.

        Can we vote the Americans out to halt F1 turning into NASCAR?

      2. @robbie the structure of the race weekend is that of a sprint race, it has a system of allocating points that is the same as a sprint race and, in Liberty Media’s original documentation, it was called a “sprint race” – it wasn’t until a month after the original announcement that it was renamed to “sprint qualifying”.

        The argument that “Sprint Qualifying is merely a different way of qualifying for Sunday’s race” is entirely retrospective – they didn’t use that argument in the original documentation, and that messaging was added at a later date. The only reason that it seems to be being called “sprint qualifying” is because the sporting regulations limit the series to 23 races per season, and Liberty Media were already planning on hitting that 23 race limit – so, Liberty Media have rebranded the event as “sprint qualifying” so it doesn’t count towards that 23 race limit.

  10. As a traditional fan, I am still worried, because I still don’t understand why some events should be worth more points than others. If F1 wants to go the route of cup races or trophy races or sprint races or whatever that’s fine with me, but keep them non-championship purely for entertainment value, and let the sport side be decided on equal terms for each championship race.

  11. The most worrying issue for me is that there are already talks about 6 races with a new Sprint-race format in 2022 season. We haven’t had a single one yet, but it is expected to succeed. I see so many disasters with a new Sprint-race format (most drivers will just cruise around and save engine and everything else; money restrictions will kill all the action in the race etc.). For me, this new Sprint-race format is going to be a catastrophy. It will be unbearable to watch.

  12. Ok so, I actually had the time to read the whole article fully and it reads to me like a sales pitch. F1 is in a great place, will only get better, more relevant, better for new fans and old fans, better for track owners, better for teams. There seemed to be zero insight or truth telling about the struggles F1 is facing.

    I don’t know if this is Domenicali’s M.O or we’re just being treated like the unwashed masses. From what I can see his most career defining period was in sponsorship and running that team at Ferrari, which got him the job running the F1 team, then he nearly sold Audi on F1, then was making sure Lambo’s continued to sell.

    It sounds like it has been his job to sell people on things and this very much sounds just like that.

    Only time will tell I guess if what he’s selling can actually be delivered by all the relevant parties or if he’s selling a lemon and dies on his sword as he did at Ferrari.

    1. I think you are right, he is a salesman. And he is also a likeable chap which makes him good in his role where he has to connect people. So far so good. Or maybe not. Where is the vision? Where are his strategic skills? Is he an independent thinker? Or an F1 relic? The people that were excited on his appointment were all F1 relics, so not sure whether that means anything since the same group of people seem to be only able to fix the financials of the show, but not the actual racing itself. And the hybrid era with only 1 team winning everything, aero that doenst allow actual racing, artificial drs gimmickery and tyres that are.. well horrible, have not exactly been a billboard for the sport.

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