Formula 1's CEO Stefano Domenicali has confirmed that Monte Carlo's four-day weekend will be a thing of the past, as next year's weekend will only be run over three days for Formula 1.
Monte Carlo's unique format of having free practice on Thursday before a day of rest on Friday has been a tradition since the championship began in 1950, with sponsors typically using the day off as an opportunity to host glamorous events involving the drivers.
However, that tradition will come to an end this year, as Domenicali revealed to CNN that next year's Monaco Grand Prix meeting would now take place over three days rather than four.
“Monaco will be in three days, straight away, 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 Automobile Club de Monaco confirmed Domenicali's planned changes, with the club's Communications and Media Manager Richard Micoud confirming to CNN that Thursday will now be dedicated to the support races rather than the first day of practice.
“[Monaco GP 2022] will be a 3-day event for F1 and a 4-day event for ACM. The Thursday will be dedicated to support races. Our organization is actually working on the 4-day timing who will be available soon on our website. ''
The changing of Monaco's weekend format is set to be one of many key issues that will be discussed at the next FIA's World Motor Sport Council meeting on the 15th of October, with Domenicali also confirming that the sport intends to have a 23 race calendar for 2022.
Since taking over as CEO of Formula 1 after the departure of Chase Carey in the winter of 2020, Domenicali has expressed an interest in bringing the sport to new markets, as well as trying to bring the sport back to Africa for the first time since 1993.
Although Domenicali revealed that discussions had taken place with Kyalami, the Italian admitted that other countries in Africa were also in talks to host a race.
“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.’’
“We have received other requests from other countries in Africa in this moment, I need to keep it confidential.’’
Domenicali also commented on the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, which is set to be held on the streets of Jeddah on December 5th, with the sport’s maiden visit to the country already controversial due to allegations of human rights abuses and sports washing.
Despite this, Domenicali is hopeful that the sport’s arrival can change the country’s image.
“The beauty of the sport is that we need to talk about sport. In our culture, the human rights are crucial and important to be followed, we believe that with Formula One in the country, there's no scope or space not to think the truth. We are going to be facilitators, to anticipate the change that maybe in a different situation would have taken a longer time. "
“On the other side, we cannot expect to switch in a blink of an eye, a change of a millennium, thousands of years of culture in something. I don't want to be political, but I think that that's the beauty of the sport to make sure that they can really prove that they [Saudi Arabia] really want to change. "