Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has responded to criticisms drivers have made of changes introduced to the series in recent seasons.Max Verstappen. Following the first running of a revised, standalone version of the format in Baku, Verstappen said F1 should “just scrap the whole thing.”
F1 owner Liberty Media’s latest innovation, a pre-race driver introduced used in Miami, was also panned by several drivers. However Domenicali said the changes are being made for the overall benefit of F1’s business and drivers will benefit from that.
“I don’t want a society in which people cannot say what they want,” he told the Daily Mail. “But drivers sometimes need to remember that they are part of a broader picture. We don’t need to be selfish.
“They are part of this sport and this business, and it grows because we are thinking bigger. Sometimes being out of our comfort zone is not easy, but we cannot be lazy or complacent.”
F1 will continue to revise the sprint race format which was introduced in 2021. “We can review some of the specifics of the sprint weekend format at the end of the season once we have tried it out on the intended six occasions. We won’t have sprints every weekend, either.
“But we have a new audience and need to provide value for money every session, not let everyone drive around in circles for the sole benefit of engineers and drivers.”
Domenicali said he is not concerned about the possibility Verstappen may leave F1. The Red Bull driver is contracted to the team until 2028.
“He said he loved the sport and what he was doing,” said the F1 CEO. “He is world champion and is fighting for a third title. He was born in a car. I would say he is likely to stay longer than me. It’s not a problem.”
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