Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has insisted that critics of recent sporting changes must not be “selfish” as the sport looks to grow through fresh ideas.
At last month’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, F1 revised its Sprint format and introduced a new qualifying session that set the grid for the sprint race.
However, the new schedule was not favoured by all, with two-time F1 champion Max Verstappen calling on the series to revert to its traditional format at every round.
Drivers and fans also voiced their disapproval over the pre-race introduction ceremony that was used in Miami earlier this month.
Mercedes’ George Russell labelled it as a distraction in the build-up to the race, while McLaren’s Lando Norris highlighted that the duties of the drivers during race weekends are becoming too much.
But Domenicali insists that F1 is implementing the changes to help the sport grow.
“I don’t want a society in which people cannot say what they want,” he told the Daily Mail.
“But drivers sometimes need to remember that they are part of a broader picture. We don’t need to be selfish.
“They are part of this sport and this business, and it grows because we are thinking bigger.
“Sometimes being out of our comfort zone is not easy, but we cannot be lazy or complacent.
“We can review some of the specifics of the sprint weekend format at the end of the season once we have tried it out on the intended six occasions. We won’t have sprints every weekend, either.
“But we have a new audience and need to provide value for money [in] every session, and not let everyone drive around in circles for the sole benefit of the engineers and drivers.”
Verstappen hinted that he wouldn’t remain in the sport for much longer if F1 continued down its current path of injecting changes.
However, Deomicali says that he doesn’t see the Dutchman exiting the sport any time soon.
“He said he loved the sport and what he was doing,” Domenicali stated.
“He is World Champion and is fighting for a third title. He was born in a car and I would say he is likely to stay longer than me. It’s not a problem.”