Viewership of the Formula 1 championship has grown significantly over the last few years, with new and larger audiences now watching the sport.
Last season’s battle for the championship between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen contributed to F1’s growth. A series of surprise podium finishes in the 2021 season also helped in creating a highly unpredictable year.
The Netflix series “Drive to Survive” has also played its part, though it has received steadily rising criticism for its misrepresentation of races.
Most fans will identify the manufactured storylines and narratives in the series, which often lead to less accurate and less exciting representations of Formula 1.
Regardless, the Netflix series has been successful in attracting new fans to the sport by providing a flavour of the excitement F1 can produce.
However, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has become obsessed with introducing new gimmicks and changing fundamental aspects of the sport “for the show.”
Sprint races have been pushed relentlessly by Domenicali, who is now proposing simply outlandish and – frankly – childish ideas that insult the very nature of the sport.
Speaking to Corriere.it, Domenicali voiced some of his plans:
“We have won over a non-racing audience by creating different content. Young people need intensity: new cameras, new types of storytelling…
“The championship is followed by 2 billion viewers, each event employing 8,000-15,000 people for a period between two weeks and a month.
“With an economic income of 100-150 million euros, talking only about sport is an understatement.
“You have to try [to implement new ideas]. There are always many excuses not to do it. It is a life principle. Purists will always turn up their noses, but over the years, F1 has changed the way of qualifying dozens of times.
“It is a need that cannot be postponed, to have even more show…
“In a normal weekend, the one consisting of free practice 1 and 2 on Friday, each session should be given away either points, or single qualifying laps, or a qualification for a different and short Saturday race, instead of the third free practice, perhaps with the mechanism of the reverse grid.
“We are putting a lot of things on the table [such as the reverse grid]. Many say no, but we have seen on some occasions the beauty of having reshuffles in the race, more overtaking. We have an obligation to try.”