Stefano Domenicali responds to Max Verstappen warning

Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has responded to criticism from Dutch ace Max Verstappen.

Formula 1 president and CEO Stefano Domenicali has insisted that the drivers “look at the bigger picture” regarding the calendar expanding, something which has been criticised.

Prior to the Chinese Grand Prix and the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix being cancelled, the 2023 F1 season was set to consist of a record-breaking 24 races, as well as six sprint races.

Several drivers have criticised the sport for making the calendar too long, with the amount of time F1 personnel spend away from their home continuing to increase year-on-year.

Reigning World Champion Max Verstappen has slammed the expanding calendar more than anybody, to the extent that he’s warned that should it continue to grow, then he will consider retiring early.

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The Dutchman isn’t a fan of a 24-race calendar mostly because of the activities which take place ahead of a race, such as marketing events and sponsorship filming.

With the calendar continuing to increase, drivers are subjected to additional marketing work and filming.

“Has it been enough? Yes,” Verstappen recently told

“I’ve always said 24 race weekends is a lot. It’s not just about the races, but everything around it makes it tough. All marketing activities, the simulator days, the personal sponsorship obligations. In fact, you don’t have any days off left.

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“I often talk about that with people around me. Those are all things that factor into deciding how long to keep going. Of course I am glad that I am in the position that I can make those future decisions myself.”

Whilst Domenicali respects Verstappen’s opinion, the Italian believes the drivers can’t be given responsibility for the sport.

The former Ferrari team principal has criticised the drivers for not looking at the “bigger picture”, with Domenicali insisting that it’s the organisation’s responsibility to grow it as big as possible.

Domenicali is convinced that F1 is taking the right approach given that other championships are starting to copy its format, such as MotoGP.

MotoGP introduced sprint races this season, although they are held at every round, whereas F1 currently only have six per season.

“I think it’s good that Max gives his opinion. But we can’t leave the sport in the hands of the drivers,” Domenicali told De Telegraaf.

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“Not because they can’t be trusted, since we listen to them, but because they have to look at the bigger picture – and they don’t always do.

“Their goal is to go as fast as possible, but we as an organisation are in charge of doing what is best for the sport. And we have done so in recent years, otherwise we would not be in this position.

“As you can see, MotoGP and other sports are also abandoning the traditional approach and we were the first to do so.”