In what is unlikely to be taken well by Formula One fans at large, the popular Monaco Grand Prix will only be held for two days from 2021 because of concerns about the location’s ability to attract viewers, F1’s chief executive Chase Carey announced at a press conference in France on Tuesday.
“It will be a race week that will span two days, and we will also do a couple of high-profile races,” Carey said, according to CNN, adding that despite the cuts, the allure of Monaco, with its glamorrous Formula One cars in the mountainous territory known as the Riviera, would not be diminished in any way.
F1 races at Monaco are traditionally held over a three-day stretch, which in 2017 at least was delivered, in part, due to the billionaire backer of the race, Prince Albert II. The festivities that surrounded the race included a series of extravagant casino-sponsored parties and the awarding of a trophy that has been kept in the palace.
But after the 2020 season, the races will revert to a three-day format, with the celebratory parties quickly turned into the prelude to qualifying and the main event, Carey said. F1’s commercial head Bernie Ecclestone has repeatedly complained about the lack of money the series makes off of the races in Europe, while also getting hammered by the traditionally more hardline French competitors in F1 (the Grand Prix is currently held in France.)
“When we are going to do a race in Monaco we wanted to get the timing right,” Carey said at the conference, according to CNN. “You can’t cram three days into one day. It becomes a logistical nightmare for everything.”
There has been no confirmation from F1’s next owner, Disney, which will receive a $3 billion minority investment in the race from Liberty Media, due to be completed by the end of 2019. But even though Carey said all was “good” with F1 following the sale, analyst Roger Martin, who has served as Formula One’s chairman for the past several years, did express some disappointment at F1’s decision.
“I’m a bit disappointed by that because Monaco is very passionate about racing, and I think that it’s also recognized by all fans,” Martin said, according to CNN. “I’m not sure it necessarily brings the best possible audience to the sport.”
At F1’s annual press conference in November, Carey attempted to reassure fans that future formats would be radically different than in past years.
“For next year, we’re going to have five races that we’re going to really kick off. These five races are going to have six races that will be new to Formula One. I think that’s going to get people excited and get them to want to understand the sport a little bit more,” Carey said.
Read the full story at CNN.
Sprint has a plan to reach younger drivers — it’s hiring Justin Timberlake
Hollywood stars pose in acting class, but you’ll never guess what happens next
F1 star is all-American; he doesn’t know why that’s still a problem