Domenicali: You talk about an ant, it becomes an elephant…

Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali denied reports that the sport is planning to scrap practice sessions, claiming his statement was amplified.

The Italian was recently grabbing headlines for the wrong reasons after he said on Portuguese television that he is a “supporter of the cancellation of free practice sessions”, in a time when F1 is undergoing so much change under the ownership of Liberty Media, some for the better, some as many might argue for the worse.

However, the F1 boss seemed to be taking a step backward after his controversial statement regarding practice sessions.

When asked in Melbourne about the matter, he told Sky Sports F1: “As always, when you’re talking about an ant, it’s becoming an elephant.

“I was just focusing on the fact that I was enjoying these sprint races – I didn’t say anything new. Of course, there needs to be the time for practice,” he added.

F1 will feature six Sprint Races this season, the first will be held in Baku, the race that follows the 2023 Australian Grand Prix, with some team bosses and mainly Red Bull’s Christian Horner labeling the sprint around the streets of the Azerbaijan capital as “ludicrous“.

There needs to be balance

“The people are coming to see performance and the more that you give the teams and drivers the chance to see who they are, the better it is for the show,” Domenicali pointed out.

“On the other hand, we need to give rookies time for them to practice, so always there needs to be a balance.”

However he hinted that change would continue in F1; he said: “We have to consider that we are just at the start of an incredible period for the sport, and it’s really very strong.

“It’s not because we don’t respect the traditions, we respect the old way of thinking of our weekend, but it would be wrong not to think about it,” the former Ferrari Team Principal concluded.

Another decision that caused outrage in F1 over the weekend of the Australian Grand Prix was from the FIA, as Race Director Niels Wittich issued a warning for team crews not to celebrate at the pit wall fence, thus killing a long-time and appealing tradition in F1.