Ecclestone proposes shaking up F1 weekends with two short races

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Formula 1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone wants to revise the format of grand prix weekends by holding two shorter races on Sundays.

Currently, F1 weekends start on Fridays with practice before qualifying on Saturdays, with the grand prix taking place on Sunday.

However, Ecclestone thinks that switching to two 40-minute races would create more interest and get more fans tuning in to F1.

“People have a much shorter attention span and a lot of sports are looking at introducing shorter forms of their games,” Ecclestone told The Sunday Times.

‘The television audiences went up for Brazil. We had a long race with the heavy rain and a couple of crashes but that meant we had two starts because of the red flags and people tuned in.

“We need to look at the traditional concept of one long race. Two 40-minute races with a 40-minute break in the middle when the drivers could be interviewed, cars worked on, would be attractive to viewers, the TV companies, the sponsors and advertisers would love it.”

Ecclestone’s idea is for the weekend to remain as it currently is on Fridays and Saturdays, with qualifying setting the grid for the first Sunday race. The result of that race would then create the grid for the final round of the weekend.

“Cars would qualify on a Saturday as usual for the first race and that would set the grid for the second. It would shake things up with lighter, faster cars,” Ecclestone said, before casting doubt on the radical change.

“But I don’t know if we have the courage to change. Times change though and it is something we must look at.

“All American sports have time-outs built in, mainly because American audiences can’t concentrate. They grow up with everything in 15-minute segments on TV. People are the same everywhere now.”