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Domenicali dismisses two day weekend idea

F1 Chief confirms it is not on the cards

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Stefano Domenicali has confirmed that discussions around introducing a two day race weekend have been ruled out as part of talks to expand the calendar further.

Discussions have been ongoing for a few years, but after the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola last season was compressed over two days, the proposal has been thrown into the spotlight once again. The idea consisted of having one practice session, a qualifying session and the race, essentially taking out the running on a Friday.

However in a video on F1.com, the F1 chief confirmed there would be no more discussions on the proposal, meaning that we will not be seeing a two day race weekend in the future. “All the organisers really wanted to have a full experience for the people and for the crowd, so we need to respect that,” he said. In fact, the three day event allows the promoters to maximise ticket sales and revenue. So really it is all about money.

The two day format at Imola last year was welcomed by fans and teams, and was a success. The reason behind the change was for logistical reasons, with the back to back races at Portimao in Portugal and Imola making the 2500 km journey difficult to complete in a few days. But the fact that it was a success, reignited discussions about introducing the two day format on a more permanent basis.

However, after the Eifel Grand Prix last year turning into a two day event due to bad weather, some drivers would actually prefer shortening the race weekend and can see the benefits.

Domenicali hints at second race in America

“There’s 22 days less of 20 cars bombing around the track and polluting the air, the planet, so that’s a positive,” said Lewis Hamilton last year.  “I think it just made it so much harder for us. Normally you have two sessions on the Friday, you get time to make tons of different set-up changes and, if you’re on the back foot, you’ve got time to catch up,”

“When you start on a Saturday, you’ve got no time. You’ve got that one session to really get on top of it and the set-up between practice and qualifying. It made it so hard.”

His Mercedes team mate Valtteri Bottas echoed his views stating: “Currently in a normal weekend I feel like there is too much practice,” he said. “Everyone finds their ways on set-ups and optimal things in terms of driving and the car set-up,”

“But if there would be a bit less practise, maybe some teams can get it right, some drivers can get it right and some don’t. So I’d kind of like it with a bit less practice.”

 

 

Headline Image: Getty Images

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