Domenicali rules out two-day Formula 1 weekend idea

Formula 1 has ruled out the idea of moving to two-day race weekends in the future.

Domenicali rules out two-day Formula 1 weekend idea

As part of an evaluation on how to expand the calendar over future years, one proposal that was looked at was to make race weekends more compact.

So rather than running over Friday, Saturday and Sunday, practice, qualifying and races would all be run over two days.

The idea fell away a few years ago but came back in to the spotlight last season when the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola ran to the more compressed schedule.

The fact that the weekend format was deemed a success for both teams and fans reignited discussions about whether it made sense to move F1 more permanently to the two-day format.

However, F1’s new CEO Stefano Domenicali has ruled out the idea completely, citing the fact that race promoters prefer the three-day event schedule because it allows them to maximise ticket sales and revenue.

Imola signage

Imola signage

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Speaking in a video on F1.com about the possibility of two-day weekends, Domenicali made it clear that two-day weekends were not going to happen.

“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.

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Last year’s Eifel Grand Prix at the Nurburgring turned in to a two-day event too, with the Friday running having been abandoned because of bad weather.

Looking at how that weekend played out, world champion Lewis Hamilton reckoned there were benefits to not having three-day schedules.

“There's 22 days less of 20 cars bombing around the track and polluting the air, the planet, so that's a positive," Hamilton said.

"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."

In the same quick fire video where Domenicali answered yes and no to several questions, he answered yes to the possibility of a new race in Africa in the next five years, plus there being a second race in the United States within three years.

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Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
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