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F1 Strategy Same Races More Sprints Says Domenicali

Domenicali Shuns Hybrids, Backs F1’s Green Shift

20/06/2024

F1 CEO Domenicali champions a greener future, advocating carbon-neutral fuels over hybrid technologies.

Stefano Domenicali, CEO of F1, has expressed confidence that the controversy surrounding the sport’s rule revolution set for 2026 will soon conclude.

Drivers and teams have voiced concerns over the chassis compromises needed to accommodate the ambitious hybrid elements of the new power units, while Renault might consider abandoning the engine project altogether in favour of a customer engine for Alpine F1.

However, Domenicali states that adjustments are possible.

“The final word has not yet been spoken. We still have enough time to make improvements.”

“We must now act wisely and seek sensible solutions instead of pointing fingers at each other.”

Nevertheless, Domenicali admits that if the engine rules were written from scratch today, the shift to sustainable fuels might have sufficed to satisfy automakers.

“The world has recognized that there are several ways to achieve sustainability. My personal opinion is that having a climate-neutral fuel would suffice. But at the time, we had to consider the wishes of the manufacturers.”

“I can imagine that with the next regulation, we could limit ourselves to sustainable fuel. The cars and engines would then be lighter and less complex again. And the engines would sound good again, which I have recently wished for, and this idea resonated well with the drivers and fans.”

“But for now, we should focus on the next step, not the one after.”

According to former F1 engineer Kees van de Grint, the current controversy and disputes regarding the rules have been significantly exacerbated by the teams themselves.

“The teams talk too much and it slows everything down,” said the former Bridgestone and Ferrari man.

“Look at the attempts to remove the tire warmers, which have been discussed for years. They are still there!”

“I think the regulator should simply say ‘This is the rule, see how you deal with it.'”

Van de Grint therefore thinks that F1 has not actually been ambitious enough with the 2026 regulations.

“Simply drastic changes are needed. It’s just minor details now.”

“Take the weight, for example. The cars are now far too heavy, and yet they’re only reducing it by 30 kg. As far as I’m concerned, it should be 200 kg, but there are all these people saying it’s not possible.”

“It’s absurd. Anything is possible in Formula 1.”

F1 Strategy Same Races More Sprints Says Domenicali

GP Rotation, More Sprints: Domenicali Sets the Tone for F1.

Domenicali outlines F1’s future: maintaining the current race count while expanding the number of sprint events.

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali announces that the introduction of race rotation in Europe is well underway, and the Italian does not rule out the possibility of adding more races to the calendar.

With 24 races scheduled for the 2024 F1 season, it will be the busiest season in the sport’s history – but there is always potential for more, according to Stefano Domenicali.

With the renewal of the Concorde Agreements, the cap on the maximum number of Grands Prix is expected to remain at 25, but F1 continues to expand its global reach, necessitating a rotational system among some races.

The ever-increasing number of races, along with the rise in the number of Sprint weekends, has raised concerns that the sport might saturate its fans, but Domenicali says that is not a problem for F1.

“I don’t think 24 Grands Prix are too many. Look at other sports.”

“Football and basketball are played every other day. They entertain their fans much more intensively. In terms of quantity, we have much less content to offer. Nevertheless, compared to other sports, we are doing very well and growing. Everyone involved in our sport, in any way, should be satisfied with the situation.”

Asked whether this means an increase from the current 24 races is likely, Domenicali said the intention is currently to maintain this number.

“We want to keep it at 24 Grands Prix. But it is wrong to say that 24 is too many. Too many of what? When the sport is as good as it is now, with many potential winners, fans count the days until the next race.”

“I mean, we have a tighter field than ever. We’re talking about gaps of a few thousandths of a second today. That’s less than a tenth over a lap of more than four or five kilometers.”

“These are gaps that we see over distances like those we see in a 100-meter race. 24 races is a good number. Each of our events has its own character.”

“Yes, the Monaco GP was certainly not the most exciting Grand Prix in history, but we had one of the best television audiences in the world. We want to maintain a good balance between old and new races. Even though many more countries want to host a Grand Prix.”

With so many races already on the calendar and growing interest from countries hoping to host their first Grand Prix, Domenicali said that the traditional heart of the championship – the European rounds – might end up on a rotation to make room for everyone.

“We are always considering a rotation system. It is likely that we will start with this in Europe.”

He also stated that the number of Sprint weekends – currently at six – is likely to increase.

“That’s the goal. The numbers show there is interest in it.”

With the Spanish Grand Prix moving to Madrid from 2026, and Barcelona looking to keep its race once its current contract expires, there are also two races in Italy, Monza and Imola.

But one of the European mainstays that has not had a race in the last four years is Germany – despite Mercedes’ involvement as a leading F1 team.

“We don’t want to leave anyone out, but the fact is that we are no longer as dependent on our main markets as before. In the past, there was Europe, Brazil, and a few isolated countries where Formula 1 was important. Today, we are popular everywhere. And if there’s a slowdown somewhere for understandable reasons, we have to live with it and invest where we see growth.”

F1 Strategy Same Races More Sprints Says Domenicali

F1 Strategy: Same Races, More Sprints, Says Domenicali. F1 Strategy: Same Races, More Sprints, Says Domenicali. 2024 F1 Strategy: Same Races, More Sprints, Says Domenicali

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