F1 will abandon its traditional four-day race weekend format for the Monaco Grand Prix from 2022, thus harmonizing the principality’s race with all other Grand Prix weekends.
Traditionally, Monaco had held their first F1 practice sessions on Thursday before taking their leave on Friday and resuming track action with FP3 and qualifying on Saturday.
F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has confirmed the change will come earlier this week as the series prepares to release its tentative 2022 schedule next month.
Quadruple F1 world champion Vettel said that while the change at Monaco “probably doesn’t make a big difference” he liked having the day off on the track as part of the weekend traditions.
“It used to be fun to have the day off, not to party, but to have a little more time to prepare,” said Vettel.
“It was kind of a Monaco thing. Since the fun stuff dies anyway, that’s probably why it shrinks down to three days. It used to be fun, so don’t do it anymore.
Vettel added that his comment was “more of a joke”, but still did not know why F1 would have made the switch for the Monaco weekend.
“I don’t know why you would change that in Monaco,” Vettel said.
“I think it worked, it was a one-off in Monaco. Either way, we’re going to adapt and I don’t think you’re going to notice.
“In general I don’t know if it’s true [that fun things are dying], I just said it because it was fun to say. From the top of my head, I can’t think of anything else.
“There are probably things that were more fun before, but there are things that are more fun now than before, so I think it’s always a compromise.”
Photo By: Joe Portlock / Motorsport Images
Alpine F1 driver and two-time world champion Fernando Alonso agreed with Vettel’s comments, calling the decision “bad” because “we all love Monaco”.
“Being a day less there, I don’t think it’s good,” Alonso said.
“Each team has a different schedule, a different marketing schedule. It’s a weekend that’s also useful for sponsors and things like that.
“Obviously this year with COVID we haven’t had a lot of marketing activity. But if I hope that next year will be a little more normal, it was also a day for the sponsors.
“So we will have, I guess, more activities on Thursday, and then from Friday we will be fully focused on the track.”
Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll acknowledged that while it was nice to be in Monaco for the full four-day weekend, removing a day of track action would take some of the pressure off the staff. of the team.
“Next year we’re going to have a lot of races like this year,” Stroll said.
“I think, like Fernando said, it’s nice to be there for the weekend. The energy throughout the weekend is always a lot of fun. It’s a special race.
“I think at the same time it gives the guys, mechanics, engineers and everyone another day at home with this very intense schedule that we have, [which] is also very important.