F1 CEO Domenicali planning limited number of “grand slam” race weekends

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In the round-up: Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali is planning to style Formula 1’s Sprint Qualifying race weekends as “grand slam” events.

In brief

‘Grand slam’ plan for Sprint Qualifying grands prix

F1 will trial Sprint Qualifying races at three races this year – Silverstone and Monza have already been confirmed, and the Circuit of the Americas is likely to hold the other.

Domenicali told The Times that, if the innovation proves successful, it will be applied to a limited number of especially significant races.

“The idea is to create a sort of grand slam,” he said. “To select a number of races. We need to decide the number of races, in each region of the world, historical or new races on which we can create the grand slam.”

No point getting upset over flag rule, says Mazepin

Shwartzman celebrates his F2 race win
While Nikita Mazepin is forbidden from racing under the Russian flag in Formula 1 due to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s sanction against the Russian Anti-Doping Agency, the same does not apply to competitors in Formula 2. His compatriot Robert Shwartzman, who won yesterday’s opening F2 race, was therefore awarded his trophy after the playing of the Russian national anthem with his country’s colours on display.

Mazepin said he isn’t concerned by the discrepancy. “Obviously the way it’s been worded is that in any world championship, being Russian, you cannot show your flag. And Formula 2 is not a world championship and F1 is.

“At the same time, I don’t think even if we could have done it, you would see me on the first place on the podium in Formula 1 in the current situation we’re at. So I don’t think we should get too upset about this.”

The Haas driver also clarified recent reports concerning his military service in Russia and its potential effect on his F1 duties when asked by RaceFans.

“I studied in university and the way it works in Russia, there is a mandatory military service and there’s two ways of serving, if you are fit enough,” he explained. “Option one is finishing university and then going for a year.

“Option two is, if you qualify, being fit enough in terms of your fitness results and in terms of studying results, you can go on to something called the elite army, which is served in completely different ways, one day a week and you are learning to be an officer in reserve. It takes three years, but only one day a week. And it’s basically done in a class. And this is what I’m doing for already two years.

“I’m obviously going to continue doing it for one more year to hopefully graduate into an officer in reserve. However, five days ago, I have passed my final exam in university for finishing my first four years and I’m moving on to get their second master’s degree in the coming two years.”

Vips explains sprint race pace

Juri Vips explained the impressive turn of speed which was key to his breakthrough win in yesterday’s second Formula 2 sprint race, which was held in cooler conditions than the morning event.

“We had to change a few things on the set-up, and on the warm-up because it does change things,” he explained. “The Pirelli tyres and the carbon brakes are very sensitive, you have to get them in the right window.

“With the temperature change, you have to change other things too so it was a bit of a challenge. I definitely didn’t nail it this morning, it was a pretty poor race from my side, but we learnt quite a lot and expected the temperature drop so we pretty much nailed today.”

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Comment of the day

Lando Norris thought his qualifying penalty was unfair but Mark disagrees:

The penalty is fair enough.

At first I thought it was harsh given the late call and uncertainty of crossing the solid line again, but the issue isn’t really the extra lap, it’s after he decides to stay out/not dive in, he then speeds up under red flag conditions.

If he’d just kept at the same speed down the straight, he’d probably have got away with it.

He’s not gained any advantage, it’s more of a technical breach of the rules but one where the FIA really have to be seen to issue a penalty to ensure folk give the flags instant and full respect in future. Particularly red where there could be people crossing the track, machinery, medical crews etc entering the track. They can’t really set precedents where ‘x’ was let off.

At least the stewards have shown some leniency and only given three places rather than five. The penalty points are fair given it’s a flag breach.
Mark (@Mrcento)

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On this day in F1

  • On this day in 1923 Ivor Bueb was born. He won the 1955 Le Mans 24 Hours with Mike Hawthorn, following the terrible crash which left over 80 dead. In 1958 he raced a Connaught run by Bernie Ecclestone in the British Grand Prix, but died in 1959.

Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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  • 20 comments on “F1 CEO Domenicali planning limited number of “grand slam” race weekends”

    1. Say what you want about Nikita, but he realizes he won’t be barred from hearing the Russian anthem because he will not be in a position to have it banned from playing for him.

    2. Re Brundle…

      Stroll, Giovinazzi, Tsunoda and a struggling Ricciardo in an uncomfortable car aren’t exactly the cream of the crop at the moment. If anything it’s just exposing the mistakes that usually go unnoticed at high run off tracks.

      It’s a bit tin foil hat to assume they have braking assists turned on.

      1. @skipgamer It’s not so much that they have “brake” assist, rather that they have “energy-recovery” assist and this is very much driven by algorithms. The cars “learn” the circuits and work out the best spots for energy recovery, which automatically applies more or less engine braking depending on parameters including the corner characteristics, current battery charge and whether the driver is on a hot lap or a recharge lap. There have been many times when this has not gone perfectly, leading to drivers complaining about problems with “BBW” (brake-by-wire).

        The systems keep getting better, but they are definitely driven by algorithms. See Scarbs’ quick BBW explanation for more authoritative information.

        1. Yep. BBW for the rear (software controlled) but even at the front, with the brake balance being controlled via the steering wheel.
          Software is involved, and where there is software in F1, there is creative exploitation. Where anything is not directly controlled, prescribed or supplied by the FIA… And even sometimes when it is.

    3. “If the innovation proves successful” hum…hum…since the innovation has been a success hum…hum…will prove to be a success hum…hum…is already a successful before even running it hum..hum… Stefano and Ross want it, that successful enough!

      1. Imagine if this w/ends grid was at a “Grand Slam” event, with several drivers out of their expected positions.
        The sprint race would probably correct that, so the grid for the Sunday race will be set at the expected finishing order.
        And we have another snooze fest.

        1. Or we have normal grid positions and the race throws up some suprises …
          It’s just how negative you want to be.

          When the field is close, like it is now, it can provide some great races!

          Let’s wait and see.

    4. F1 is the pinnacle of Motorsport – why is Domenicali trying to polish more shine into the crown jewels? Concerned about the fan feedback at all?

      1. Domenicali has no concern with fan feedback. Only the pre-qualified fans with short attention spans that love more shiny jewels will be heard. Weird how autocratic sports can find the feedback they want when they want.

        1. with short attention spans

          Say the people who cry “that’s too much racing per weekend!”

          1. On the bright side… maybe the extra sparkly extra races will be so slammin’ Liberty will offer 48 thirty minute races every weekend. 24 hours of F1. Every week. One half hour at a time. ;-)

    5. The Australian GP doesn’t stand a chance unless the mandatory 14-day isolation requirement isn’t in place by November anymore, or even around Monza time when the build-up process would commence.

      COTD: 100% agreed.

    6. How silly with the grand slam idea when F1 already has blue riband events with Monaco, Silverstone, Monza, Spa

    7. How’s it going with Mazepin in the RAF?

    8. Well @balue let’s be honest, those don’t actually pay all that much, partly bc. they are historic, and most because they are in sort of democratic European countries where they have to find money for what is a rather risky and not clearly profitable enterprise, so I suppose it is about trying to change that to others that will pay more for the honour :)

      1. @bosyber Yeah for sure that’s the reason. It’s all a bit fake though.

    9. That Toto quote must be a joke. Is he like 12?

      1. Yeah he’s really becoming unhinged. He made such a good figure when he came in to F1, but now the real Wolff is coming out and it’s not nice at all. Putting down people left, right and center for no good reason. Russell, Bottas, Horner in short order. I guess he’s given up his dream of F1 CEO and don’t have to pretend to be diplomatic and tempered anymore.

      2. Well he and those behind the camera laughed when he replied to the question being posed as tbf Horner is known as a windbag who is in love with the camera, as I believe Webber confirmed later in the broadcast.
        Although I don’t think he will be best pleased when he finds out Max suggested he gets in the ring with Wolff to settle the matter.

      3. Toto and Christian are as bad as each other to be honest

    Comments are closed.