Stefano Domenicali rejects F1 calendar size concerns: ‘Driving is not compulsory’

Stefano Domenicali has dismissed concerns over F1's ever-growing calendar.

Stefano Domenicali (ITA) Formula One President and CEO. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 17, Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka,
Stefano Domenicali (ITA) Formula One President and CEO. Formula 1 World…

F1 boss Stefano Domenicali has hit back at criticism aimed at the sport's record-breaking 24-race calendar - and plans to potentially add more sprint events.

A number of drivers, including reigning F1 world champion Max Verstappen, have expressed concerns about the ever-growing calendar, particularly with rumours of Domenicali wanting more sprint races.

F1 is set for 24 grands prix in 2024 - and is set for the same in 2025.

Verstappen remains firmly against the prospect of additional sprint rounds.

“I'd be careful not to overdo it,” he said in China.

“I suppose it boosts the TV ratings, but it adds more stress to the mechanics so let's not start thinking that we should do sprints on half of the GPs on the calendar, otherwise it'll cause mayhem."

However, Domenicali has rejected any criticism surrounding the current F1 calendar.

He told Sky: “I think 24 is an optimal number with the events that we have so far.

“The good news of this year, I took as a sort of responsibility from the teams and to the promoters, to everyone, to announce the calendar much earlier than normally we do in order for everyone to be ready.

“And of course, has been another step in the direction or try to, we are regionalising the calendar. We cannot do it completely, but I think that we did the right step, so, very happy for that.”

Stefano Domenicali (ITA) Formula One President and CEO on the grid. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 4, Japanese Grand
Stefano Domenicali (ITA) Formula One President and CEO on the grid…

The former Ferrari boss also shrugged off complaints from the drivers, stating that “it’s not compulsory” to drive in F1.

“I speak with them. If you want to drive, you can drive every day. If you don’t want to drive in Formula 1, it’s not compulsory,” Domenicali added.

“It’s a matter of respect of the fans. They want to see them racing and it’s something that we have, once again, the responsibility of all our fans, our partners, our promoters, our sponsors, our broadcasters, everyone.

“It’s the magic of the sport we live in is because we need heroes that need to enjoy what they’re doing. And I’m sure that they are enjoying [it].”

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