Formula One chief: Mulsanne GP will be three days

F1 wants the Monaco Grand Prix to be reduced to three days, but the iconic venue will still remain the showpiece race of the season, F1 chief executive Chase Carey has said. Carey believes…

Formula One chief: Mulsanne GP will be three days

F1 wants the Monaco Grand Prix to be reduced to three days, but the iconic venue will still remain the showpiece race of the season, F1 chief executive Chase Carey has said.

Carey believes that in future, F1’s so-called “majors” — Monaco, Canada, Germany and France — could be trimmed back to three days, but the fact that it was Monaco’s 60th anniversary this year has helped make it “a special race,” he told Britain’s Daily Mail.

“They keep playing different words, but it’s pretty clear what our move was — to give the other races more of a presence,” Carey told the paper.

The Monaco race has often been associated with car manufacturers having lavish sponsorship deals with the Formula One organization, with the ability to even create a specially branded cars.

However, Carey revealed that it had been the discussions between McLaren and Ferrari last year that brokered a route for a group of sponsors and the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to sign up new deals for 2019 that ensured a Ferrari and McLaren represented two out of three teams in the grid next year.

McLaren and Ferrari do not have the biggest budget in F1, so Carey, believes that the fact they will have two out of three teams, another marked reduction, is further evidence that F1 was moving in the right direction.

“Sponsors want to be in a formula where they’re a part of history,” he added. “Ferrari and McLaren are two of the best teams of all time. They understand that and they want to be part of that history.”

The Bahrain Grand Prix was also reduced from three days to two at the weekend of the Bahrain Grand Prix with Carey downplaying the significance.

“People are exaggerating the number. It was so warm and sunny in the area. It wasn’t a big topic. It happened earlier in the year [with Monza and Singapore being cut from three days to two]. It’s not what it’s really about,” he said.

Carey believes that the Monza race was regularly canceled before F1 returned to its traditional Italian Grand Prix slot, along with the fact that that the sport had a much more streamlined schedule.

Formula One has also reached a $10 million settlement in its legal action with Joe and Nicholas Vandenburg, the American businessmen accused of causing the death of F1 practice driver Justin Wilson.

“The decision about the payment to Wilson’s family was a business decision that was not political or a driver’s issue,” said Carey.

“The business decision was a cost of doing business to proceed with a contract that we had already made.”

There is no word yet whether the race in Montreal will be moved to a three-day format as F1 have instead changed the make-up of the start-finish line. In November 2017, with the changing of the Gascogne channel to one-way traffic, Montreal had trouble with its start, with a rookie Formula One driver, Lance Stroll, losing control of his Williams when the start-finish line turned out to be too far to the left.

Carey said that engineers had tried to tackle the issue by testing different variations, but that once they were in Paris it was clear that a one-way channel for the Grand Prix was the best way forward.

The F1 chief was adamant that moving one way was something that had been agreed long ago.

“There was a meeting here three weeks before Montreal. I don’t remember if Jean Todt [F1 president] was there or the more likely Ron Dennis, but there was consensus around the one-way channel to open up the race.”

The decision on changes for the Canadian GP to a three-day format is believed to have been taken with an eye on the fact that the final race of the season, in the United States, runs for seven days instead of four as planned in 2020.

The race is scheduled to be held in Austin, Texas, which has become an F1 hub in recent years, with the launch of next year’s circuit confirmed for February 2019.

“Austin was a big driver for this decision. It is a big promoter of the sport,” said Carey.

“I’ll talk to the mayor of Austin next week and confirm the details for that race. We all know Austin has a big passion for motorsport. Austin built the Circuit of the Americas and we’re really, really happy to be there.”

Leave a Comment