F1 critics should not be “selfish” with views, says Domenicali

Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali says no one in the series needs to be “selfish” in criticising efforts to improve the show.

Stefano Domenicali, CEO, Formula 1

Despite F1's dramatic boost in popularity under owner Liberty Media, there has been some kickback from drivers about certain aspects of grand prix weekends.

As well as some disapproval of the recent Miami pre-race entertainment show, F1's switch to a sprint race format at several weekends has not been universally popular.

Most recently, double world champion Max Verstappen suggested that if F1 continues down the path of more sprint races as part of a big expansion of the calendar, then he would have to consider his long-term future in F1.

But Domenicali, who helped lead the push to introduce sprint races, thinks it is wrong that individuals should criticise aspects of F1 that have helped make it more popular – and inevitably lift the popularity levels of everyone involved.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Domenicali said: "I don't want a society in which people cannot say what they want. 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 – just as 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.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz / Motorsport Images

"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."

Read Also:

Verstappen's comments about questioning his own future in F1 amid ideas like the sprint race grabbed plenty of headlines earlier this year.

Domenicali has played down talk that the Dutchman wants to walk from the series, having made sure to speak to him ahead of the most recent race in Miami.

"I discussed the issues with Max (before the last race in Miami)," added Domenicali. "He said he loved the sport and what he was doing.

"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."

Previous article Why creating a Silicon Valley-style campus matters so much to Mercedes F1
Next article 2023 F1 Monaco GP – How to watch, session timings and more