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Sprint races might not have podium, says Domenicali

Credits: LAT

Formula 1 is thinking about not having the podium ceremony after the sprint race on Saturday to avoid overshadowing the main Grand Prix. 

Nothing is decided yet, but the plan to implement sprint races on Saturday is almost ready, only some details are missing. 

If all the teams agree on this project, and it seems like that, F1 fans could see the revised format for the race weekend at three events this year: Canada, Monza, and Brazil. 

A key factor that is extremely important to take into account is that the new Saturday’s race does not have to overshadow the main race on Sunday. This problem was also raised by some current drivers, that are afraid that the race on Saturday would take away the show from the main Grand Prix. 

To avoid that, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali stated that thoughts and ideas are being gathered to allow Sunday’s race to remain the main event that all F1 fans wait for. 

“We are defining the sprint races now and we will present the program before the Bahrain Grand Prix,” said Domenicali. 

“We have to make sure that there is a difference between the iconic celebration of the race – which is the iconic moment at the end of the event on Sunday afternoon. 

“That’s the peak of the event and that has to be kept separate from the other moments. So the most important celebration will still be Sunday afternoon, and not Saturday.”

Since the plan is not completed yet, this new race does not have a name. Despite that, there are some suggestions and the main one is to call the race the “qualifying race”. 

Nonetheless, Renault executive director Marcin Budkowski proposed a new name idea. Plus, he also added that this new format could bring some good spectacle to the fans.

“Sprint races, or whatever they’re going to be called – super qualifying – it’s excitement over three days,” he said.

“We can qualify on Friday, race on Saturday, and race again on Sunday. And we’re going to go a lot less prepared into qualifying. For the fans at the circuit or at home, it’s three days of excitement.

“Teams sometimes look at it, and we’re so obsessed about competing with each other, we’re so obsessed about proving our competitiveness and performance, but we need to put on a good show.

“I think that’s going to help to put a good show for the fans. So let’s try new formats. It’s a great opportunity to see if it’s something we want to carry over for the next seasons.”

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