• ‘People want a Formula One race’ says Hulkenberg • Willumsen describes season as ‘a situation where we are not successful’
Monaco’s Formula One race will be cut to a three-day format to preserve the event’s profitability in 2022, F1’s chief executive, Chase Carey, has said.
Carey revealed the news as a comprehensive new long-term F1 plan was presented to the drivers at a meeting in Spa-Francorchamps. Carey said: “This is by no means the end of the story, it’s the beginning of a conversation, it’s not a case of the wall going up, this is about us continuing to make Formula One more financially sustainable.
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“People want a Formula One race, they come to watch and every country that you talk to they want to see it. There has been a fantastic response to this, everyone wants a Formula One race. We were the most successful team in terms of revenue generation, that’s for sure, but as the season has gone on people have been feeling, in different ways, different losses, different losses and the cost structure is becoming a bit more onerous.
“So we think moving forward, and given where we are in terms of the overall development of the sport, that there is a reason to continue to reduce the costs.”
After running the Grand Prix for 27 years, Monaco lost the race in 2015 to a new venue in Porto Alegre on Brazil’s north-east coast. However, changes to the Monza circuit have persuaded the Italian race – which has never been run three days – to join the three-day event for the first time in 2019. This will be followed by three-day Monza races in 2021 and 2023.
Carey added: “We’re really trying to address the costs of Formula One as we move forward. The race is one of the most successful team here, it’s an iconic race, it’s an iconic venue. The more people that can come to it, the more money you make. We’re looking at the learnings from this, we’re looking at where we have options to really reduce costs going forward.
“[We will do] three-day races in different parts of the world, we’re looking at technologies and looking at new ideas for sponsors and other businesses that might want to invest in Formula One. So we’re looking for some improvements there.”
Carey denied new teams were being encouraged to enter F1 in order to fill slots that might otherwise have been filled by teams that have exited the sport.
He said: “We’re not running this country for numbers or for quotas. We’re building a business. I can’t speak to regulations as such but we want to make sure we’re producing an F1 team that’s gonna be successful and that’s why we’re exploring these new ways to reduce costs.”
The 2017 season saw the most competitive finale in recent years, with Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel battling for the title. There was also the controversial decision to disqualify Massa after his Brazilian team-mate Felipe Massa was automatically dropped from the results.
“It was the biggest race of my career and when the season started people said we couldn’t have a championship between Lewis and Sebastian, but people keep changing the rules,” said the Williams driver Valtteri Bottas. “It’s unbelievable, but it’s the way the sport is going. We made progress in the second half of the season as a team, but still not enough.
“Obviously a lot of the stories last year have probably faded away, the various arguments – I think they are, for the most part, lost now. However, we still have races to go and we want to win them for the whole team.”