Stefano Domenicali dismisses Max Verstappen ‘risk’

The 2022 World Championship was decided at the Japanese Grand Prix.

The 2022 Formula 1 season is almost at an end, with just two races remaining of the campaign.

Perhaps it’s unfair to compare 2022 to previous seasons; given that 2021 was as dramatic and controversial as it was, however, this year hasn’t exactly been the best.

With 20 races completed and just Brazil and Abu Dhabi remaining, only Red Bull and Ferrari have claimed victory this season, with Max Verstappen having won 14, Charles Leclerc three, Sergio Pérez two and Carlos Sainz one.

In fact, only one race has seen a midfield driver step foot on the podium, with that having been Lando Norris at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

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The championship was also wrapped up incredibly early, with Verstappen having sealed the title in Japan, with four races still remaining.

Despite all of this, though, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali revealed that there is no concern that views might drop in the last two rounds, with both events already being “sold out” with “really good” numbers.

“Well, actually, we don’t see any kind of risk at all,” he said when asked in a call with Wall Street analysts if the lack of a title showdown would be bad for F1’s finances.

“And first of all, we have the last race with sold out tickets, and the numbers are really good. The attention will be shipped, of course, to other fights for the sporting perspective. So that’s part of racing.

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“And I would like to add, if I may, we are totally positive on the impact that the change in regulations brought this year. And we cannot comment on the fact that a team, but specifically in this case Red Bull, or Max Verstappen, did an incredible job. Maybe some other teams didn’t take the right opportunities.

“But what we saw on the track is wheel-to-wheel racing. That’s what we wanted. And I’m totally confident that next year the fight on the track will arrive up to end of the calendar. And as you’ll see, the last races, on the sporting side there is a lot of attention.

“There is a fight for places that also for the team perspective is related to their financial position, and the financial reward if they achieve a position. So I think that there will be a lot of interest in Brazil and Abu Dhabi too, with no problem.”

Ticket prices have been a big talking point this year and also ahead of next season, with an increasing number of fans finding themselves being priced out of going.

With the cost-of-living crisis hitting Europe as hard as it is, some have argued for prices to be decreased; however, no such thing appears to be on the cards.

“First of all, being a world championship we can spread around the world the risk of having this kind of situation to manage,” the Italian added.

“On the other hand, the fact that we have long-term agreements will reduce the exposure to this risk. And what I can say and share with you is that we already see an incredible number of pre-registrations with regards to ticketing of next year.

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“So this is a good sign that you’re seeing mainly in Europe, where I’m living, where it is clear that this recession is taking place.

“But I think that the way that we are structured, the way that we have done the deals will enable us to move forward in this direction.

“Therefore, I would say this current situation lets us think that we should be optimistic in this context. Of course, we monitor it, but this is what we see today.”