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‘F1 drivers ought to lead by instance’

Drivers take the knee before an F1 race in 2020
Drivers took the knee sooner than each race of the 2022 calendar to highlight the battle in the direction of racism

New Elements 1 boss Stefano Domenicali says he’ll urge the Grand Prix drivers to “lead by occasion” as place fashions for the sport.

The 55-year-old said he had written to all the drivers to degree out their significance as “constructive ambassadors for F1”.

“They’ve giant obligation on account of they’re the face of our sport,” said Domenicali, who grew to develop into F1 president in January.

“Now we now have an infinite potential to obtain new followers who will work together with their faces and conduct and the way in which they act as an individual.”

Domenicali singled out Lewis Hamilton, who has promoted anti-racism, vary and sustainability in present years, as “an infinite ambassador for F1”.

“He’s important for F1 as he’s embracing completely different values ​​into the dialogue and giving his face to numerous components that are exterior common sport.”

In his first data conference since taking his new place, the earlier Ferrari group boss lined a wide range of topics.

These included:

  • His confidence that F1 can run a full calendar this season whatever the pandemic
  • Prospects for model spanking new races
  • A revision to plans for sprint races on Saturday afternoons
  • His hopes for Hamilton’s contract talks with Mercedes to come again to a conclusion

The drivers’ public obligations

Stefano Domenicali on the grid at the Portuguese Grand Prix in 2020
Stefano Domenicali (carrying the orange masks) says F1 drivers have a “giant obligation” as a result of the face of the sport

Domenicali said he anticipated completely different drivers to observe Hamilton’s occasion of speaking out on mandatory factors.

F1 last yr started a advertising and marketing marketing campaign promoting vary, by means of which Hamilton was on the forefront, and has made sustainability a key downside for the long run, setting a aim for the sport to be net-zero carbon by 2030.

“We by no means had in F1 so many implausible drivers – youthful, gifted, very sturdy – and we will’t lose the possibility of establishing sure they’re better than drivers,” Domenicali said.

“They need to understand their relationship with the F1 world is vital.

“It’s an area I would like to make investments numerous time on my side to preserve discussing, not solely on the sporting side with them, nevertheless to share how I think about we must always at all times work collectively in using our platform and their place model to push components that are mandatory for our society. “

Grand Prix Drivers’ Affiliation chairman Alex Wurz instructed BBC Sport: “It’s no secret Stefano and I’ve already spoken. He made it clear he wishes to engage with us and have a greater co-operation for a better future.

“We talked by way of how we’re in a position to co-operate. Like all relationship, there shall be sides the place we agree and sides the place we disagree, nevertheless I truly welcome the openness and technique and we’re going to work together and proceed the sample from the previous couple of years of working collectively. “

Domenicali addressed the controversy spherical new Haas driver Nikita Mazepin’s conduct in a video posted on-line last yr by means of which the Russian novice appeared to inappropriately contact a girl in a car.

“It’s pretty clear what he did was not acceptable – quite simple,” Domenicali said.

“Nonetheless he was apologetic and we’d like to guarantee throughout the dialogue we’re going to have that they understand that we will’t joke on positive points – not potential. They’re too mandatory to not understand their place model they want to embrace.”

The challenges of Covid

Domenicali said he was “fully assured” that F1 may fulfill its doc 23-race calendar this season, although he admitted it was “an issue” and that the sport have to be “fluid and versatile”.

After publishing one calendar F1 has already wanted to draft a second, suspending the deliberate opening race of the season in Australia until November and eradicating the Chinese language language Grand Prix, for which it’s nonetheless hoping a model new slot could also be found.

There could also be moreover uncertainty over the proposed third spherical of the season, scheduled for 2 Might. Until not too way back, this was anticipated to be run at Portugal’s Portimao monitor, nevertheless journey restrictions have raised doubts regarding the viability of a race there.

Domenicali said that having two races in Bahrain to open the season was “one in every of many potential plan Bs, nevertheless it isn’t confirmed”.

And he emphasised that F1 wouldn’t be pushing to have drivers and group members vaccinated early.

“The priority might be probably the most vulnerable,” he said. “We don’t want to bounce the highway of vaccination.”

The prospect of newest races

Domenicali moreover reiterated F1’s plans to have a number of race in America.

He said negotiations over extending the contract of the US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, had started; that work was ongoing on a race in Miami and that there was “giant curiosity from every occasions to be there”; and there have been completely different potential venues throughout the US with whom negotiations weren’t as superior.

Vietnam, whose debut race in 2022 was canceled due to Covid and which has been dropped for 2022, was “nonetheless on the desk for a future event”.

And he said there have been discussions about races in every “north and south Africa”.

Hamilton’s contract

Lewis hamilton
Lewis Hamilton obtained his first F1 championship in 2008

Hamilton shall be going for an all-time doc eighth drivers’ title this yr nevertheless first he has to finalize a model new contract with Mercedes, as his current deal expired on the end of ultimate yr.

Domenicali said he understood the delay in concluding negotiations between Hamilton and Mercedes group boss Toto Wolff.

“I’m sure Lewis wishes to grasp numerous components about his future,” Domenicali said. “I don’t suppose it’s simply related to his wage; it’s further related to what they think about to share collectively eventually.”

“What he’ll battle for this yr from the sporting perspective is unbelievable. And I can take into consideration the pressure and dynamic of how he reaches this doc could possibly be an unbelievable story to inform.”

Rejection of sporting gimmicks

Over the earlier two years, F1 had been pushing to take a look at new approaches to racing, particularly a reverse-grid sprint race as an alternative of qualifying on Saturday.

Domenicali is open to the idea of ​​a shorter race on Saturdays together with the precept Grand Prix on Sunday and said this “might presumably be examined this yr”, nevertheless he said the idea of ​​a “reverse grid is over”.

He recognized that “after we had been altering qualifying every couple of days, it burned our fingers” – a reference to former boss Bernie Ecclestone forcing by way of a change in qualifying format initially of 2016 which wanted to be abandoned after one race.

Plans are of their infancy, nevertheless it’s understood that the sprint race wouldn’t impression the easiest way autos lined up for the precept event.

Domenicali said: “It’s mandatory to take into consideration new ideas of being further engaging or fascinating nevertheless we don’t have to lose the usual technique of racing.”

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