Bernie Ecclestone has come up with another typically weird and wacky idea to try and shake up Formula 1 and improve the show.
We’ve had a medal system, sprinklers and now Ecclestone wants F1 to revamp the race day format to keep up with everyone’s shorter attention spans… You’re still reading this, right?
He’s now pitched an idea for two 40-minute races on a Sunday, with a 40-minute break between them.
Qualifying would go ahead as usual on Saturday to decide the grid for race one, with the result deciding the grid for the second race.
This one isn’t quite as bonkers as artificial rain but it’s still a drastic change to a race format that has remained the same since (pretty much) the beginning of F1.
He feels shorter attention spans mean the traditional two-hour long race needs to be looked at, because people nowadays can’t concentrate for all that long.
Here’s what Ecclestone told The Sunday Times:
“People have a much shorter attention span and a lot of sports are looking at introducing shorter forms of their games. The television audiences went up for Brazil. 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. Two 40-minute races with a 40-minute break in the middle when the drivers could be interviewed, 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 would set the grid for the second. It would shake things up with lighter, faster cars. But I don’t know if we have the courage to change. 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.”
The last time F1 tried to change the weekend format, we got elimination qualifying and we all know how well that turned out…
Did you make it to the end of this article? Or did you lose concentration? Nevertheless, it’s a pretty wacky idea and one that would be a huge change to F1 if it was ever brought in.