Formula 1’s crown-jewel, the Monaco Grand Prix will scrap its traditional rest day next year and hold practice on Friday like the other races on the calendar, according to the sport’s boss Stefano Domenicali.
The Italian told CNN television that the schedule for one of the glamour highlights of the F1 season would shrink to a conventional three-day format.
Wednesday has been reserved for media activities with free practice on Thursday before a night of partying and then Friday for teams to rest and VIP guests to relax on the luxury yachts in the harbour.
The public holiday also provided a lucrative bonus for the local economy, with the teams and guests arriving in the principality earlier in the week than they would at other venues.
“Monaco will be three days, straight away,” Domenicali confirmed to the broadcaster. “So Friday, Saturday and Sunday instead of Thursday, hold, and then Saturday and Sunday. That’s the change we’re going to introduce next year.”
The move is likely due to the expected addition of Miami in May, making a record 23 race calendar with Monaco’s street circuit likely to follow on from Spain. The condensed programme would make it easier logistically.
Monaco Grand Prix organisers said that while Formula 1 will hold a three-day event, it would still be four days of action in the principality with support races being held on the Thursday.
Domenicali said the 2022 calendar would be announced after a World Motor Sport Council meeting in Paris on 15 October
He would not confirm speculation about South Africa featuring on it, with South Africa hoping to make a return for the first time since 1993: “We received interest from Kyalami to be back in the calendar.
“Of course we have discussed with them in order to see if they are ready from the technical perspective, the financial perspective, to be inserted in the calendar, so discussions are there.”
Saudi Arabia is making its debut this season, with a first race in Qatar also expected to be announced to fill a gap in late November. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin)