Stefano Domenicali, the new Formula One Chief today put an end to the idea of the ‘reverse grid’, but said he’s keen to bring in Sprint Races as a way of switching up the usual weekend schedule.
Domenicali took over the CEO position from Chase Carey on January 1, 2021, and is already making waves suggesting a number of changes to bring about a more entertaining weekend for viewers at home amid COVID-19.
The idea of replacing the usual qualifying lineup on a Saturday was going to be replaced by a reverse grid as a way to enhance the competition for pole position, as well as the usual results during qualifying, however, while speaking at a conference on Friday, Domenicali said:
“Reverse grid is over – that’s something I can tell you.
“I think that it’s important to think maybe of new ideas of being more attractive or interesting – [but] we don’t have to lose the traditional approach of racing.
“I think that what we learned in the period where we were changing qualifying every two days has been something that has burned our fingers.
“So we need to avoid that. Now I think that the formula is quite stable.
“What we are looking at, for sure, is what could be the approach of the so-called sprint race on Saturday,” Domenicali added. “We are thinking if this could be tested already this year.
“There are discussions going on with the teams, in the right forum. And I think that maybe this could be the only one thing that could be interesting.”
It also looks as if, under this new management, rookies will have more chances to sit in an F1 car this season, further nurturing the young talent set to make their way to the F1 grid in future.
“We need to give attention once again to the rookies, the real rookies,” said Domenicali.
“Today, with the fact that we have less testing, we need to create [chances for rookies to drive F1 cars] not only in free practice, as already written into the regulations.
“Maybe we can create good events, highlighting the fact that we need to focus the attention on the rookies,” he added.
The CEO said F1 currently has a good number of young drivers who have made their debut over recent year, but that the organisation needs to ensure that this flow of new talent keeps its momentum.
He said; “we cannot stop that flow going on.”
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