Formula One plans to stage a less frenetic race in 2022 and shorten the Monaco Grand Prix to a three-day race in September, the latest shake-up among the sport’s teams and commercial rights holders, FIA president Jean Todt said Tuesday.
[UPDATE] FIA responds to F1 president’s memo
Monaco’s country was a regular venue for race favorites and was a part of the grand prix schedule from the start in 1929 through 2009.
The downsized race will focus the weekend’s activities around motor sports and entertainment events as a way to end a running battle with the Grand Prix Committee.
F1 also announced a five-year agreement with veteran Hollywood talent manager Rick Yorn to promote the GP Monaco.
Yorn – who represented Johnny Depp, Salma Hayek, Mel Gibson and Frances McDormand – is also a partner in SAG-AFTRA in its contract talks with the sport.
F1’s 27-year-old commercial director Sean Bratches said in a statement that it was “a natural partnership.”
The announcement is the latest in a series of moves that have shaken up the sport.
In August, the 18-race 2018 season was reduced from 18 races to 17. That included a cut of a race day as well as a one-race break between rounds in July, a radical departure from the historically held tradition of renewing every four years.
In October, former F1 team owner Flavio Briatore was given a lifetime ban after claiming that former FIA president Max Mosley had “performed a homosexual act” with Flavio’s late son.
Meanwhile, Series CEO Ross Brawn – who was brought in after Mosley retired in 2015 – said he was confident the sport would benefit from the changes, particularly as they will allow teams to rethink strategies for next season’s races in order to pick up points.
“The Monaco Grand Prix is a Formula One mainstay and it has been an ever more important race over recent years,” said the Italian.
“However, we recognize that it is no longer the only Formula One race and we have concluded that a revised format will better suit a future Monaco Grand Prix.
“That is why we made the unanimous decision to reduce the number of legs of the 2018 season and change the format of the Monaco Grand Prix.
“We know from previous Grand Prix that the Monaco race is a major attraction for fans, and the F1 teams and commercial rights holders have all put in important support for this radical change. We think it is a bold step forward for F1.”
Ecclestone – who has run F1 since 1978, running the sport from the British capital of London – was not a huge fan of the new Monaco format.
But when the move was revealed, he tweeted: “There’s only so many times a man can shake his fists in somebody’s face and they just keep moving.”
Ecclestone is also credited with helping the sport move from London to Monaco, though he has not ruled out taking his old job back when he reaches the end of his 90s.
The 85-year-old billionaire was able to make a speedy comeback from a shoulder operation in August to work for until at least the end of the season.
Follow the break between races, all F1 race weekends, in 2018 will now begin on Saturday, rather than Sunday, providing teams with a reprieve from the 24-hour travel trip and a quick return to running strategy.
The first round of the season will be staged in Australia in March and, going forward, the second race of the season will be held in Abu Dhabi, while the next three races will be held on Sundays with the climax of the championship in Russia.
The Monaco Grand Prix, however, will be scrapped.