Esteban Ocon, Alpine, Albert Park, 2023

F1 “would be wrong” not to consider more format changes – Domenicali

2023 Australian Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Formula 1 must continue to experiment with changes to its race weekend format in order to attract new fans, CEO Stefano Domenicali believes.

The series made a major change to its format by introducing sprint races to three rounds in 2021. It has extended the format to six rounds this year.

However Domenicali is keen to see further changes in order to attract more viewers to the sport. This week he reiterated his desire to see more practice sessions replaced with competitive events to increase their appeal to viewers.

“People are coming to see performance and the more you give the chance to teams and drivers to see who they are, the better it is for the show,” he told Sky. “And I would say on the other hand I think that we don’t have to forget about the rookies, so we need to give the time for them to practice. As always in life there has to be a balance.

“We are thinking to have a session where there is something to perform for the better of the sport, and that’s it. Altogether with the drivers we are just thinking and working out what is the best plan to try, to see the reaction, and go for it. No fear of that.”

Domenicali said F1 is in a “really very, very strong” position at the moment, but says the sport must continue adapting to keep drawing new fans in.

“I think that to keep the attention [we should] have no fears to be aggressive on thinking of new formats,” he said. “It’s not because we don’t respect the traditional or respect the old way of thinking of a weekend. It would be wrong not to think about it.

“As I say, we don’t have to be shy. We can really have the time to consider there are, like me, old fans that have certain ideas of what is the formula of a weekend. But we have also a new generation that are coming in, they are more aggressive in asking [for] something different. So as always a matter of balance and we want to work out the best way for interest of the sport.”

Although Red Bull has made a dominant start to the season, Domenicali remains hopeful the competition will tighten up over the rest of the year.

“It’s been an incredible start to the season,” he said. “It’s clear that Red Bull on track has been very fast.

“But I’m very prudent, normally, to say that everything is just finished because it’s not. We have still a lot of races to go. Things can change quickly. You have seen also in terms of reliability how the things could be different from one moment to the other.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2023 Australian Grand Prix

Browse all 2023 Australian Grand Prix articles

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

18 comments on “F1 “would be wrong” not to consider more format changes – Domenicali”

  1. When sprint races were first raised by Brawn, I said then that the end game would be the replacement of the traditional race and race weekends with multiple sprints and only a few of the longer format endurance races at a selected few venues.

    The more I hear from this person, the more I’m convinced that’s where F1 is heading.

    RIP F1 I really enjoyed you for a lot of years. Sadly with almost spec cars, restricted development and drivers that have no clue how to give feedback on how to improve their cars and a sole reliance on data and modelling it’s no longer what it could be.

  2. Indeed

  3. Jonathan Parkin
    31st March 2023, 5:47

    I disagree. I preferred the format of the sport when I joined in 1996 or thereabouts. For the last twenty years we have just been tinkering the format to death and I’m fed up with it

    1. People of all ages say that, no matter when they got into F1 – “It was best when I started watching”….
      Possibly the most over-used comment theme related to F1…?

  4. Fully agree with Domenicali, F1 urgently needs to change the format on some of the weekends. Principally, it needs to get rid of sprint races.

    1. Fully agree with Domenicali, F1 urgently needs to change the format on some of the weekends. Principally, it needs to get rid of sprint races.

      You beat to that one Andy.
      They don’t have to drop the moving car spectacle though as they can sort out Domenicali’s concern about track time for rookies too.

      A short form race, using last years car, for the rookies and prospective new drivers only, that should do two jobs in one.

  5. F1 would be wrong to continue to cater to casual fans

  6. Dear Mr. Domenicali,

    Please observe the old saying, “If it isn’t broken, do not try and fix it!”

    Please get rid of the utterly stupid Sprint Race format, it is not at all necessary.

    I have been a Formula One enthusiast (not a ‘fan’) since 1950. For me the current version is just a ghost of what Formula One used to be.

    I do not want a US-based spec series. Do not forget that Formula One is a WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP.

    With respect, Michael A’

    While I am in the mood, would Mr. Horner, Mr. Marko, Mr. M. Verstappen and Mr. N. Rosberg please do the gentlemanly act and give Sir Hamilton the two championships that he claims he was ‘robbed’ of – 2016 and 2021. Such an act may just put a stop to all of the whinging, whining and crying of Sir Hamilton, Mr. Wolff, and their legions of ‘fans’. It is time all of this stopped!

    1. Such an act may just put a stop to all of the whinging, whining and crying of Sir Hamilton, Mr. Wolff, and their legions of ‘fans’. It is time all of this stopped!

      Agree, but so might this.

      Search: Hybrid era

      Format: Warning formatting will permanently erase all data.

      Do you wish to continue?
      You can bet your orchestra stalls I do.

      Hit enter.

  7. he claims he was ‘robbed’ of – 2016 and 2021

    Tut,tut. 2021 was robbery. Most topical as apparently Masi is loitering in the venue this weekend.
    2016 was a collection of equipment failures and pit muck ups. Cast your mind back to the famous footage of Hamilton massively out distancing Rosberg and the car slowing while spewing white smoke and accompanied by the audio of Hamilton going “nooooooooooooooo…”
    That was a solid 25 points until the engine blew.

  8. No, you would be but then what would the fans know. We’ll get what we’re given and like it according to Liberty.

  9. If there aren’t changes how can money grubbing Liberty monetise the series more effectively?

  10. See this is what happens when the cars become bloated limousines making the noise of vacuum cleaners.

    When they sounded and looked like screaming wasps just watching them in any capacity was a joy.

    Make the cars great again and people will want to watch them.

  11. Stephen Higgins
    31st March 2023, 9:15

    … and lose all the old, loyal ones in the process.

  12. petebaldwin (@)
    31st March 2023, 9:44

    F1 “would be wrong” not to consider removing DRS.
    F1 “would be wrong” not to consider removing sprint races.
    F1 “would be wrong” not to consider allowing additional teams to enter the sport.
    F1 “would be wrong” not to try expanding the fanbase by offering more on free-to-air TV.
    F1 “would be wrong” not to consider racing at the best tracks around the world instead of car parks.
    F1 “would be wrong” not to consider ways to make it appear as though the sport is being run by competent people.

    He’s right in theory. F1 should always consider ways to improve the sport but the problem is that we know that this has nothing to do with improving the sport… If it did, he’d apply that concept to everything else but he won’t because Sky don’t want DRS removed – they want less practice and more points-paying sessions.

  13. Ahhh Stefano. You were once liked on the grid when you were at Ferrari, but ever since you started your new role you have become a hack for the Liberty Americanism of the sport we all hold dear. Word of advice, if you want to turn F1 into the equivalent of Nascar you must realize that Nascar holds races in front of huge empty grandstands. And that isnt because of lockdowns, its because since 2008 the people running that sport have done nothing but tinker with all the rules.
    Every time you add a new race to the calendar, it waters down the prestige of actually winning a grands prix. Its such a shame. Never thought I would ever say this, but I miss Bernie running the sport. At least he was a racer at heart.

  14. Yes because the FIA has such a strong track record of experiments working out.

    May as well change the quali format every year, I mean it might help attract new fans /s

    I really did not expect Domenicali to be such a terrible leader.

  15. Electroball76
    31st March 2023, 14:46

    Many people (outside of motorsports fans) would likely already consider F1 to be dull, overlong, confusing, expensive, elitist, lacking in iconic personalities, and offering a lot of hype about nothing.
    Obviously these people are wrong… but what can or should be changed to win them over to F1?

Comments are closed.