Sebastian Vettel wants F1 weekend format to remain unchanged

Getty Images

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel has called for Formula 1’s weekend format to remain unchanged as the sport’s new owner, Liberty Media, considers ideas to improve the racing spectacle.

Liberty completed its takeover of F1 in January, and has been discussing ways in which to make F1 more entertaining, with one idea raised being a change in the current weekend format.

Three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has been one of the leading voices in the call for change, saying there should be shorter sprint races on certain weekends, such as Monaco, where overtaking is notoriously difficult.

The loss of practice to the weather on Friday in China re-ignited the debate about how weekend schedules should run, but Vettel said he was wary about F1 making changes for no reason, and stressed that the current grand prix format should remain untouched.

“I’m maybe very old-school on many things, and I think that some things we shouldn’t change. The way people look at it now after one race, after a couple of races, they would like to see a change, but I think it’s wrong to change too much,” Vettel said.

“I think it’s important to keep a certain framework consistent throughout time, so I think every now and then it’s important to listen to people, but I think with surveys it’s always difficult to get a very clear picture. I think too much change, equally, is wrong.

“Just to give an example, when there was talk about the race format, I think it would be quite bad to get rid of one race, one grand prix.

“I think it would take away the highlight of the weekend by putting two races, for example, or to make the race shorter because they say it’s too boring and lasts too long.

“I think that’s the grand prix: that’s how it’s always been. It’s been even longer in the past, if you look a long way back, and it should remain a challenge. Making it shorter, more exciting, whatever, I think it’s not a grand prix any more.

“I’m a bit skeptical to have change for the sake of change.”