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Ecclestone looking to change race format?

NEWS STORY
20/11/2016

In a move which will have purists throwing up their hands in disgust, Bernie Ecclestone has admitted that he believes the current race day format needs to be changed.

Looking to other sports where there are natural breaks, the F1 supremo believes that two forty-minute races would better suit contemporary viewing habits.

"People have a much shorter attention spans and a lot of sports are looking at introducing shorter forms of their games," he told the Sunday Times.

"The television audiences went up for Brazil," he revealed, referring to last week's race which saw two race stoppages due to crashes caused by the poor weather conditions. "We had a long race with the heavy rain and a couple of crashes but that meant we had two starts because of the red flags and people tuned in.

"We need to look at the traditional concept of one long race," he admitted. "Two 40-minute races with a 40-minute break in the middle when the drivers could be interviewed, and the cars worked on, would be attractive to viewers, the TV companies, the sponsors and advertisers would love it.

"Cars would qualify on a Saturday as usual for the first race and that (the result of the first) would set the grid for the second," he continued. "It would shake things up with lighter, faster cars.

"But I don't know if we have the courage to change," he admitted. "Times change though and it is something we must look at.

"All American sports have time-outs built in, mainly because American audiences can't concentrate. They grow up with everything in 15-minute segments on TV. People are the same everywhere now."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Spindoctor, 22/11/2016 21:29

"@Yves. If you think that any of the comments here even approach the unpleasantness of much of the mainstream "Social Media", you've clearly led a pretty sheltered life.

Like most of Bernie's recent "suggestions" this is a bad idea. That's because it fails to make F1 a better Sport, nor any more intrinsically interesting to us fans. The reason for that is simple: two processional mini-races separated by 40 minutes are no more attractive than a single one.

As to your other observations I think you'll find that many of the critics of the ancienne regime proffer lots of positive suggestions as to how to "fix" Formula 1. Similarly any perceived ad-hominem criticism of Mr Ecclestone is usually consequent upon his more outlandish pronouncements, many of which appear designed to attract controversy and comment. "

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2. Posted by Whassamaddau, 22/11/2016 14:35

"Dateline November 22, 2038....

F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, 135 has proposed F1 races be divided into 35 lap races and 2 hour fishing tournaments. His reasoning is that everyone loves the guy with the biggest fish. He then gave the press his middle finger as he was pushed from the press room in his environmentally controlled bubble. "

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3. Posted by TokyoAussie, 22/11/2016 11:30

"'Bout time Bernie had another brain fart. I was getting worried there for a minute that he'd gone all sensible on us. Normal service has been resumed. "

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4. Posted by ryanhellyer, 21/11/2016 22:27

"I've been wanting to see grandprix cut in half since I first starting watching in the 1990's. I see no reason not to change the race format. The only thing that would concern me, is if the powers that be decided to change it willy nilly like they do with qualifying. If they're going to make a change, do it, and stick to it.

Just because something has been a certain way for a long time, does not mean that way was the best way.

Other series (notably various touring car championships) have experimented with sprint race formats for a long time, and found they work much better than multi-hour events. I don't see why those experiences wouldn't translate well to Formula 1."

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5. Posted by TokyoAussie, 21/11/2016 15:09

"Perhaps Bernie cannot push himself to watch a whole 100 minutes of racing without falling asleep. That does not mean the rest of us have to. "

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6. Posted by Jonno, 21/11/2016 10:45 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 21/11/2016 11:06)

"This comment was removed by an administrator as it was judged to have broken the site's posting rules and etiquette."

Rating: Neutral (0)

7. Posted by jpmc61, 21/11/2016 10:30

"Bloody hell what next, traffic lights? zebra crossings? why not have petrol stations where the drivers have to get out and fill up their cars themselves.
Leave it alone Bernie."

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8. Posted by imejl99, 21/11/2016 9:42

"Another smoke screen. It is not up to the format, it is the product. Teams and drivers are turned into race car managers - PU management, tire management, energy recovery management, brake balance management, fuel usage management, aero management, track limits management... on and off the track all the same. I realized that for a quite a while now I am watching and hoping someone will screw up, someone will mismanage, instead of watching for racing. Give us back racing and the format won`t matter."

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9. Posted by Tweek, 20/11/2016 20:49

"I would prefer an F1 endurance race, say 3-4 hours long. I wanna see the drivers get out of the car exhausted for the millions of dollars they earn. I wanna see more pit stops. I wanna see refueling. I wanna see driver mistakes. I wanna see attrition and equipment failures !
................
I bet one of the tracks wouldn't mind having the fans on site for the whole day. I can imagine how pleased the sponsors would be with additional advertising time. I would love to watch a race that starts during the day and runs into the evening. Can you imagine the last race before the summer brake or the season finale running like this ?"

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10. Posted by Editor, 20/11/2016 19:23

"@ Yves,

If there was an award for post of the week, month, year...

You would most definitely be a contender"

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11. Posted by Yves, 20/11/2016 18:46

"Sadly, some of the comments here are starting to resemble too much like other (anti?) social media outlets where bashing is the rule notwithstanding what information has been provided (in this case by the great team at Pitpass). For one thing, the Supremo said 40 min. between races, not two hours. I'd rather take a guy like Bernie who puts ideas on the table, good or bad, than whiners who claim the sport is dead yet still take the time to watch races and put their vile on forums like this one. I'd rather read why they believe this is a bad idea than just spit derogatory comments about someone who no one can accuse of being a failure or a twit. But that is just my humble opinion."

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12. Posted by metalhead, 20/11/2016 17:24

"Doesn't matter anyways. F1 was finished yrs ago as a sport. Now its nothing more than a fringe hobby. What sport would change the rules MIDWAY through a season? Joke. I have more fun doing my taxes"

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13. Posted by Ro, 20/11/2016 16:06 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 21/11/2016 11:06)

"Nah, lets have 8 "mini races" each lasting 10 minutes, with a 5 minute ad break between each, What is he thinking when he opens his mouth ? Its a flipping race, not a demonstration run(s). "

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14. Posted by jackois, 20/11/2016 14:34

"Dear oh dear!
"

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15. Posted by Jonno, 20/11/2016 14:05

"Please, please let this be the last hurrah of the old codger before he disappears into the sunset. Gold medals, sprinkers, etc, etc, we've heard it all over the years and thankfully none of it has gone further than headlines. Go away Bernie, you've become an embarrassment to F1.
"

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