Formula 1: Stefano Domenicali on Miami GP, Sprint Qualifying and why three-day events are staying

Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has given an indication of when to expect the inaugural Miami Grand Prix to take place in 2022, while also revealing – in an interview with Sky Sports F1 on the sport’s major topics – that there are “a lot of other countries” hoping to join the calendar.

Miami’s long-awaited arrival on the F1 calendar was finally sealed last weekend as it was confirmed a race on a circuit around the Hard Rock Stadium – home to the NFL’s Miami Dolphins – would take place next year.

The race, the second in the USA after Austin, has a 10-year F1 deal, and the exact place on the schedule will be announced in due course.

But Domenicali, speaking after the announcement and before at the Emilia Romagna GP on Sunday, did admit to Sky F1: “It will be in the second quarter of the 2022 season.

“And it will be enough gap to keep the other Grand Prix in the United States, with a reasonable distance.”

The Miami GP is therefore likely to be in early summer, when it could possibly paired with the Canadian GP (taking place in June this year) in a more travel-friendly back-to-back. The US GP at Austin is usually set for late October or early November.

F1’s Miami lap

Welcome to Miami 😎🌴

Jump onboard for a virtual lap of the sun-soaked circuit that will play host to @f1miami in 2022! 🎥

🎥 x Apex Circuit Designs
🎮 x Assetto Corsa#MiamiGP #F1 @HardRockStadium

“What was good, and we will develop in the next month, is that we have done together the track, with the FIA, with experienced guys,” added Domenicali on the 19-corner circuit.

“So I think from a sporting point of view there’s going to be a lot of excitement.”

F1 has a record 23-race calendar for 2021 and while it is not yet known how many there will be next year and beyond (there can be a maximum of 25), Domenicali stated even in the current climate, there are lot of interested hosts.

“A lot of other countries are hoping to host a Grand Prix,” he said. “We need to get ready for the restart.

“A lot of countries see Formula 1 as the right platform to restart the industry, the business, the tourism and obviously from our side the sport and all that is connected to that.”

What’s the latest with Sprint Qualifying?

Domenicali also revealed the plan to trial some shorter Saturday races to dictate Sunday’s grid – to be called ‘Sprint Qualifying’ – should be signed off in the coming days.

F1 has been in talks with team bosses for much of the season about Sprint Qualifying, which is set to take place at three Grands Prix in 2021 to spice up the weekend, and it could be finalised at the World Motorsport Council on Monday, April 26.

“Of course we need to respect the protocol and the procedure to go through the F1 Commission, and the World Motorsport Council,” he said. “That’s really on the final step of the formalisation of it.”

Why three-day F1 GPs will stay

As well as reiterating F1’s hope to have 23 races on the grid this year – even if some of the original races cannot take place – Domenicali had his say on why he believes F1 Grands Prix need to be three-day events.

F1 trialled a two-day GP at Imola last year, with one practice session before qualifying on the Saturday, but Domenicali says race promoters want more action and the sport will therefore stick to the current format.

“The decision was made because of the fact that we talked to the organisers, and they’re really keen that as soon as we get back to normality, they can extract the maximum out of the event,” he said.

“The event has to be like a concert, when the people are enjoying three days with a lot of things – Formula 1, entertainment, fashion, music, energy. We need to respect that, that’s why that’s the way to go.”

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