Lewis Hamilton calls for F1 weekend format to be shaken up

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Lewis Hamilton believes that new Formula 1 owner Liberty Media should look at shaking up the format of race weekends as part of its planned changes for the series.

Liberty completed its takeover of F1 in January, with American executive Chase Carey becoming its new CEO and chairman.

Carey will work alongside commercial chief Sean Bratches and sporting manager Ross Brawn to develop and expand F1, with new ideas set to be discussed in the coming months.

Brawn recently raised the idea of reviving non-championship races as a way to test out new ideas and formats, with the latter being of particular interest to three-time world champion Hamilton.

“I think a new format is definitely needed for Formula 1. Thursday to Sunday has been the same for the last 11 years,” Hamilton told reporters in Barcelona earlier this week.

“I think the way these cars are, with the continued direction and design they go which makes it difficult for us to overtake and then people complain that we don’t overtake, we’ve got to come up with some unique and different races. Maybe every other race there’s going to be a different scenario.

“When you go to Monaco, you can’t keep just doing the same race format because no-one can overtake there. Maybe they need to spice it up, do something different. Maybe have a sprint race. I don’t know.

“But Monaco race should be different to the others. There’s lots of ideas, but I’m not going to share them.”

Liberty’s F1 bosses are set to meet with the team chiefs in the next couple of weeks to discuss possible new ideas for the sport.

F1 race weekends have remained largely the same since 2006, with three practice sessions being followed by a three-stage qualifying and a race lasting between 90 minutes and two hours.

Attempts were made to tweak qualifying at the start of 2016, only for the quickfire elimination format to come under heavy criticism and be scrapped after just two runnings.