World governing body is investigating practicalities of operating race inside Faenza, southern Italy
Monaco Grand Prix to be cut to three-day format in 2022, says F1 CEO
The 2019 Monaco Grand Prix will take place as planned on 1 May, Formula One’s new commercial rights holder, Sean Bratches, has confirmed.
However, next year’s event will be the last for at least five years with an eye to the 2020 season and a move to a three-day format is in place. The 2023 race will also take place on an abbreviated schedule, resulting in a maximum three-day session.
“It was a question of being within budget as well. We determined that there wasn’t enough to fill the three-day event but there was enough to cover the weekend,” Bratches told Sky Sports. “There are some logistics things we need to get worked out, and I think in terms of satisfying the appetite for the event there’s always the possibility of a repeat of it.
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“With the length of the weekend, and with more work going into the fan experience, I don’t think you’ll see it at a similar scale in the future but I wouldn’t put it past us.”
An extension to the Monaco Grand Prix’s contract was never going to be easy, even if it had been announced before. Previous F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone was so annoyed at being asked to extend the race’s stay on the calendar, which began in 1929, that he rejected an offer that would have seen the race pushed back by a year to 2027.
However, with a lighter schedule for the 2020 race now being considered, there will be greater space for more races. A two-race calendar for 2020 is being discussed, with Manila – but not the new two-race race in Mexico – and Singapore to race the weekend after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
If Formula One has to make more races a reality, then a return to Italy would be irresistible for motorsport fans but the governing body is being sued in Milan for changing the meet’s date. According to a statement on the Italian Grand Prix website, a court is considering legal action in relation to F1’s plans to shorten the race at the Nürburgring to a Friday race in order to make way for a three-day event.
Bratches said: “I know the folks at the FIA are working very hard to get through that and it’s in the mix with other things we are looking at. I think this is all part of a gradual process that begins this weekend with us picking up a concrete event. It’s complicated and it doesn’t move quickly, but it’s starting to move at a pace.”