Sebastian Vettel reacts to Daniel Ricciardo's suggestions to shake-up Formula 1 format

Vettel: Leave The Format Alone

Formula 1 has probably had more law changes, technical tweaks and safety improvements than any other sport over the last decade or so.

Attempts to makes the cars faster, then slower, more aerodynamic, then more of a brick, slick tires, treaded tires and back to slicks - the changes FIA dictates run thick and heavy every year.

And it’s not just the technical adjustments.

Formula 1's relatively new owners, Liberty Media have not let the grass grow under their feet and have added new races, spiced up viewer access and worked to improve the driver experience with more DRS zones.

A criticism of the sport has always been the gap between the wealthier teams and those with client engines and a lack of funding. Development caps, seasonal testing restrictions and tighter regulations has seemingly brought the grid somewhat slightly closer together, although there is still some more work to be done.

One of Liberty Media's ideas is to revamp the race weekend with a different format, moving more towards an F2-style of race season.

Formula 2 has created a more exciting format of single-seater racing with a sprint race taking place on the Saturday, multiple legs on race day and even reverse grids. Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo is a fan of the F2 format and would like to see the sport shaken up -to make it more exciting.

He has been critical of rule changes and track designs that make overtaking impossible - prompting his 'less laps of nonsense' comment recently.

F1 Grand Prix of Germany

In an interview with ESPN, Ricciardo suggested that the free practice sessions should also be removed.

"I'd prefer no practices and just Saturday, Sunday," Ricciardo said. "Just qualify Saturday morning, race Saturday afternoon and race again Sunday. Less laps of nonsense and more laps of meaningful business."

Given the increased length of the new season, he was also asked whether a shorter race calendar was better for the sport. While laughing he answered: "It depends if those other weekends are holidays or marketing days. If it is marketing days, then I prefer 23 races. If it is holidays, then I prefer 16 races."

However, his former Red Bull teammate and four-time world champion, Sebastian Vettel, doesn't want the format changed.

F1 Grand Prix of Germany

Vettel accepts that changes need to be made to make the racing more exciting but urges Liberty to leave the format alone.

“I think the format is fine," Vettel said, per "I think it’s wrong to look at changing the format. It’s not my decision so it’s a bit pointless to talk about it but I wouldn’t be a fan. I think it has been like that for a long time for a reason.

“I think the 300km Grand Prix is a Grand Prix. If you should make it half, then maybe for some people then a boring race is only half as boring but that’s not the way I look it."

“I think it’s a challenge, it’s a Grand Prix distance, when you do your first race and you’re surprised by how long the race can be and that’s a physical and mental challenge for that duration and I think it if it becomes a sprint race, I think it would be a different sport in a way. I wouldn’t mess with the format.

F1 Grand Prix of Germany

“I think we need to find other ways to get excitement and get the grid together and whatever but not the format.”

How and in what direction Liberty Media and the FIA agree to take the sport remains subject to conjecture. But the American media giant has long held the belief that the sport needs to engage with fans on every level and to be an accessible, immersive sport.

Whether the F1 format is blanketed in wholesale changes is unlikely. But tweaked? Most assuredly it will be nipped and tucked because fan satisfaction brings in viewers and money.

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