Ecclestone looking to change race format?


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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Published: 20/11/2016
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