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F1 critics should not be “selfish” with views, says Domenicali

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While F1’s popularity has grown significantly under owner Liberty Media, drivers have kicked some aspects of the grand prix weekend.

F1’s move to a sprint race format over several weekends has not been universally popular, aside from some displeasure with the recent pre-race entertainment in Miami.

Recently, double world champion Max Verstappen said he will have to think about his long-term future in F1 if it continues down the path of more short races as part of a larger calendar expansion.

But Domenicali, who helped push for the introduction of the sprint race, believes it would be wrong for individuals to criticize aspects of F1 that have helped make it more popular – and inevitably boosted popularity for all involved.

and daily mailDomenicali said: “I don’t want a society where people can’t say what they want. But drivers sometimes need to remember that they are part of a bigger picture. We don’t need to be selfish.

“They’re part of the sport and the business, it’s grown because we think bigger.

“It’s not easy to get out of our comfort zone at times, but we can’t be lazy or complacent – just like we could have tried some of the details of the sprint weekend format in the expected six races at the end of the season. Nor will we be on every occasion. There are sprints every weekend.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

Photography: Alexander Trienitz / motorsport pictures

“But we have a new audience and need to provide value for money in every class, rather than having everyone go around in circles just for the benefit of engineers and drivers.”

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Verstappen’s comments about questioning his future in F1 amidst ideas such as sprint racing grabbed plenty of headlines earlier this year.

Domenicali played down talk that the Dutchman wanted out of the series and made sure to speak to him ahead of the recent Miami game.

“I discussed these issues with Max (before the last game in Miami),” Domenicali added. “He said he loves the sport and what he’s doing.

“He’s a world champion and he’s fighting for a third title. He was born in the car. I think he’ll probably outlive me. That’s not a problem.”

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Alonso wants to fight for title: 'I don't get obsessed with it'

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Fernando Alonso came very close to his first race win since Barcelona 2012. The Spaniard trailed Max Verstappen, who left the Aston Martin driver behind with a masterclass finish. It was more flavorful for Alonso, he told a news conference.

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Alpine must ‘keep feet on the ground’ after Monaco F1 podium

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Ocon qualified fourth in the Principality, 0.188 seconds behind pole-sitter Max Verstappen. He then inherited a spot when Charles Leclerc was penalized for blocking Lando Norris.

In the race, 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix winner Ocon took on Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton on the final stage in the rain, earning his first podium of the season in the upgraded A523. Teammate Pierre Gasly, meanwhile, was seventh.

The headlines came after Alpine chief executive Laurent Rossi gave French media interviews over the weekend in Miami, at times labeling his team “amateurs”.

The team’s best finish was eighth before Monaco, while Ocon and Gasly eliminated each other in the final moments in Australia, unable to earn a double. Throughout the weekend in Monaco, Ocon was reluctant to respond positively to Rossi’s remarks.

Asked again for his response after finishing third, he said: “Everyone is happy. Formula 1 is unpredictable. You don’t know what’s going to happen.

“With how tight the field is at the moment, a little more pace can completely change your weekend. It was a great weekend, awesome preparation.

“As I’ve always said, we’ve been working hard. We’re not going to stop believing. Hopefully this is the first podium of many.”

Esteban Ocon of the Alpine F1 Team celebrates his third position with Pierre Gasly, the Alpine F1 Team, Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi and the team

Esteban Ocon of the Alpine F1 Team celebrates his third position with Pierre Gasly, the Alpine F1 Team, Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi and the team

Photography: Alpine

Such a high score is based on Alpine’s introduction of a revised suspension configuration, tweaked floor design and new sidepod air intakes for the Monaco weekend.

Asked whether the upgrades marked a turning point for the year, Ocon said the team had to be careful to “get its feet on the ground” and wait to see what it was like at this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.

He said: “It’s a very different track in terms of character here. But obviously the car feels more alive and I feel more confident in it to start the weekend.

“We did bring some updates. They should be small, but everything we have is going in the right direction. It definitely feels good and I hope this is the start of something.

“We need to keep our feet on the ground and see where we are next week. It will be a good test.”

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Alonso wanted P1: 'Great to fight for the title like this'

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Fernando Alonso came very close to his first race win since Barcelona 2012. The Spaniard trailed Max Verstappen, who left the Aston Martin driver behind with a masterclass finish. It was more flavorful for Alonso, he told a news conference.

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