The comments recently made by former Ferrari boss and current Formula 1 president Stefano Domenicali on the occasion of the Grand Prix of Portugal in MotoGP, relating to the question of sprint races as compared to Formula 1, generated a lot of heated discussion.
Comments that, certainly, were not pronounced by the Formula 1 boss casually, but in conjunction with a weekend in which the top motorcycle racing series launched its new race weekend format (clearly inspired by that of Formula 1), with the implementation of sprint races on every Saturday of the new season.
A format which, in fact, Formula One has been using for three seasons now and is increasingly experimenting with (this year, in fact, there will be no less than 6 weekends based on the Sprint format). In the ideas of the top management of Liberty Media, precisely through the comments of the former Ferrari team principal, the Sprint races represent the future of the category.
The former Lamborghini boss, in no uncertain terms, stated that he was “a supporter of the cancellation of free practice. After all, they are only useful for the engineers but the public does not like them, which is what matters”.
A type of weekend which, to tell the truth, meets the commercial needs of the organizers to raise the stakes with commercial rights and of the GP promoters who, in this way, can sell a greater number of tickets starting on Friday, with higher prices, taking advantage of the official status of the sessions. A type of weekend that, on the contrary, clashes with the traditions consolidated for over 70 years of the Formula 1 world championship and which, whenever it is brought up, always generates important debates among fans of the sport. However there is a specific fanbase (at least the long-standing ones, with a proven passion that is not superficial like those from Netflix) that does not agree with the direction taken by the Formula 1 management.
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A debate which, as was to be expected, promptly ignited once again following the words of the Italian manager from a few days ago. Somewhat unexpectedly, there was also some reactions from some important figures within the Formula 1 paddock: Andrea Ferrari, a physiotherapist, the athletic trainer of Charles Leclerc and also a Ferrari driver academy trainer, expressed his thoughts by replying to the following Tweet.
“F1 lacks someone with a “vision” of what this sport should be, an authoritative man. […] At most we can rely on bureaucrats like Domenicali. […] It’s kind of surprising to hear from an ex Ferrari boss what he said: it denotes lack of knowledge of what a motor racing sport is. […] Let’s see what happens with fans, teams and drivers. But if what Domenicali said were to come true, I hope this sport dies, to be reborn with other figures”.
Andrea Ferrari wanted to post a reply to the Tweet above and did so by expressing a clear position on the Sprint format issue, which also probably suggests the important and authoritative thought of his driver and close friend Charles Leclerc, in relation to the revolutionary (or at least questionable) format of the race weekend.
“Personal thought: I think the drivers like doing one free practice and qualifying much more than three free practice sessions and qualifying” – Andrea Ferrari wrote.
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