Stefano Domenicali shoots down key suggestion by Max Verstappen, says ‘we can’t put F1 in the hands of drivers’

The Formula 1 CEO dismissed Max Verstappen’s claims of the 24-race calendar being ‘too much’ to handle.


Stefano Domenicali shoots down key suggestion by Max Verstappen, says ‘we can’t put F1 in the hands of drivers’

Max Verstappen and Stefano Domenicali (via Imago)

The 2023 season of Formula 1 is already 14 races in but there is still an exciting row of 10 more race weekends to go. Max Verstappen, who has won 12 Grands Prix out of them till now, has been leading the pack as the drivers have called for bringing about a change in the F1 calendar. They have expressed their dismay about the sheer amount of race weekends in a single season. But F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali wants to hear none of it.

ADVERTISEMENT

The current calendar contains 24 Grands Prix with 6 sprint races–but the Emilia Romagna GP in Imola was cancelled due to a natural calamity. So, in total, the F1 circus will be visiting 23 race locations by the end of this year. Max Verstappen, while speaking to Dutch publication Formule.nl, pointed out how the marketing activities, sponsorship duties and many other things apart from the actual racing add to the strain of a Grand Prix weekend. He hinted at how such a strenuous schedule might force him to retire earlier than he originally envisioned.

Yet Domenicali holds his ground, he replied to the protests, “We can’t put the sport in the hands of the drivers, never. Not because I don’t trust them, because I always listen to them, but they also have to know the bigger picture. And they don’t always do that.” He believes that the seemingly ‘excess’ of Grands Prix are healthy for the sport.

Do not miss: F1 to change name of Las Vegas ‘paddock’ building due to Route 91 harvest festival shooter

ADVERTISEMENT

Stefano Domenicali addresses calls for an FIA intervention amidst the Red Bull dominance

Lewis Hamilton and Stefano Domenicali (via Planet F1)
Lewis Hamilton and Stefano Domenicali (via Planet F1)

Many drivers and teams have spoken to the FIA, expressing how the dominance of the Red Bulls stands the risk of making the whole sport look a bit dull. Lewis Hamilton recently urged the FIA to take action as the Milton-Keynes outfit have been unbeatable since the start of 2024, winning every race so far into the season. Hamilton expressed the fear of losing viewership for the sport due to a lack of

Domenicali addressed these comments by saying, “I’m not worried about that at all,” the F1 chief added. “The interest in Formula 1 is enormous, commercially speaking we are still on the rise. And races are sold out everywhere. Max is very dominant, but during the races what is happening further down the field this year a lot. The sport is very healthy.”

So the F1 chief looks quite content on how the season is turning out. With Formula 1 steadily increasing it’s appeal, Domenicali seems to apply the famous ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ method to running Formula 1.

In case you missed it:

ADVERTISEMENT