Should F1 races be shorter? (Poll)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

FOTA and Massa have called for short F1 races
FOTA and Massa have called for short F1 races

The F1 teams’ association has recommended that F1 race distances should be cut from 320km (200 miles) to 250km (155 miles).

Should F1 races be shorter?

  • Yes (9%)
  • No (89%)
  • Don't know (2%)

Total Voters: 1,655

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Earlier this week Felipe Massa suggested pretty much the same thing when he suggested F1 race distances be cut by 15 laps. The response on this website was overwhelmingly negative.

I am very disappointed to see FOTA call for pretty much the same thing and I expect most of you are too.

Whatever FOTA’s rationale for cutting races distances is, they haven’t explained it. They have revealed a marketing survey which acknowledges that most F1 fans don’t want the sport ‘dumbing down’. Making the races shorter, and better suited to the short attention span of the casual viewer, would be a classic example of ‘dumbing down’.

Cutting race distances would be meddling with the DNA of F1 unnecessarily. It would make Grands Prix scarcely any longer than GP2 races. It would undermine the physical, mental and technological challenge of racing at up to 200mph for up to 200 miles.

Television companies would be forced either to use fewer advert breaks, meaning less money for them and, ultimately, the teams, or subect viewers to the same number of breaks in a shorter length of time, meaning they see even less of the race. A lose-lose situation.

Shorter F1 races ultimately means less Formula 1. It would be like demanding smaller grid sizes or fewer races.

I cannot see how any F1 fan would like this idea. But whatever your point of view is, do share it in the comments.

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70 comments on “Should F1 races be shorter? (Poll)”

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  1. they want to shorten the race distance AND they want to modify the exchange rate of km to miles simultaneously?!

    dont they want too much?


  2. I didn’t know Massa read this blog!!! ;)

  3. No to shorter races. Once the teams go to the expense of going all theway there, might as well spend more time racing.
    The logic behind shorter racing might be that if the race is “so” long, TV viewers will be more likely to get up and get a beer and a bite to eat and then come back for the finish and thus miss some TV advertising … I dont know.
    In any case, no to shorter races.

  4. I think someone may have clicked “yes” by mistake there! :?

    That is a crazy idea, they would be headin towards A1 gp if they did that (One hour plus one lap, is that right), or GP2 sprint races. Whats the point??

    Shorter races means less TV time, and that means less MONEY which they are trying to save.

    Budget cap for the teams and maybe a salary cap for the drivers (they won’t like that will they??) is the way to go on this one!!

    Let the excess revenue go to road cars where it would be more useful, and (I’d never thought I’d say this) if KERS is so expensive, get rid of it too or at least standardise it!

    Sorry, I fear I may have strayed from the point slightly there, but I hope FOTA takes note of some of our suggestions…..:?

  5. Should be cut from 320km to 350km? Keith, this doesn’t look like cut to me ;)

    1. Sorry, 250km! Fixed.

  6. I, as a fan, don’t like it either, but like I mentioned in the other thread I think this has to be a cost-cutting move. Less time on the track means less costs for the team. Less chance of damage to the car, less wear-and-tear on the crew and equipment, less fuel used: less cost.

    This is the only thing that makes sense to me.

  7. Robert McKay
    5th March 2009, 18:56

    No to shorter races. No no no no no no no no no no. No. NO. Have I made myself clear!? :D

    Monza is short enough already…

    The races should be at the very minimum 90 minutes in my view, but really they should all be pushing closer to two hours. It should be a proper physical and mental test. And as pointed out by Arthur954, what the logic is in spending all that money designing and building the cars and the racing them even less is is anyone’s guess. It just means less exposure on TV. Hopefully the WMSC will see sense on this one.

    Some of the races should actually be longer. I did quite like Champcar’s “all races will be 1 hr 45 mins” rule in its final seasons.

  8. i am very neutral towards shorter races as it won’t necessarily effect the result in the same way as Belgian and Brazilan rounds last year…F1 should be dynamic, may be the new rules with no re-fueling,etc. can best suit the new set-up, we can’t just turn out to be v. negative over that respect just cuz they happened for last so many yrs or so..and if all the teams feel so, we can’t put that mental strength/ technology and all other logics as all teams must have contemplated it before deciding onto release their desires..Its a hard time and we need to adopt…5 ppl in the world are losing jobs every minute (some survey, pls don’t ask names0 and we should care about that as F1 fans..

  9. I think that 3% (as of this moment) of the voters didn’t understand the question.

    There’s no need for the races to be any shorter. I already start to sob when it reaches 2:30pm on a sunday, when I realise that there’s only a few more laps left before I have to return to… well.. other stuff.

    Please don’t take that away from me.

  10. Where the hell do FOTA get their so called marketing survey from!? I certainly wasn’t consulted! Was anyone else? I seriously believe that anyone involved in running F1 these days (be it the FIA, FOM or FOTA) is a complete cretin. These people’s heads are so far up their own ***** they’ve become completely detached from reality. The F1 hierarchy reminds me a bit of pre French revolution royalty, they have a “let them eat cake” mentality. If only we could rise up and chop their effing heads off!

    1. No one that I know of was consulted for the survey. What baffled me was that for a group of teams that competes in the “World Championship”, they had less than 20 countries represented in the survey!! How on Earth (literally) could they expect to get a realisitc sample of fan’s feelings and opinions with such a small sample?

  11. *v. negative over that aspect

  12. I voted no, but I do occassionally fall asleep during the early morning GP’s if they are very processional – those ones could be shorter ;) but in general no.

  13. chaostheory
    5th March 2009, 19:24

    the audience wants more interesting races, not shorter. Shorter does not mean more interesting.
    Shorter races idea should be left behind like medals idea and standard engines for every team.

  14. The races are barely 90 minutes as it is!!!! Gimme a break.

  15. No way, my preference would be a minumum of 90 mins, max 2 hrs.

    The processional races bore me, if there aren’t any good tactical moves unfolding, but for the last couple of years there haven’t been to many of them. Hopefully even less this season if the overtaking working group have done their job well.

    Also combine that with the proposed point scoring changes, it gives the potential for a great couple of hours every race. Who’s going to settle for their position after the final pitstops if they can overtake, not just catch & follow.

  16. Cars are slower this year so they are making track shorter to compensate.

  17. Two hours is not that long of a race. Leave it be, they already run for less than two hours of racing. Leave it be.

    1. I mean’t lenghten the shorter races to a minimum of 90 mins, not shorten the races.

  18. NO NO NO NO NO NO NO….. and just to make it clear


    to shorter races.

    We should be having proper length races and more races as well. Also more tracks and varied types of tracks in my opinion.

    I wouldn’t advocate 4 hour races but around 2 hrs is about right. Like someone said f1 races are some of the shortest distances already. And it would really be dumbing down the sport for those people with very short attention spans. I agree a lot of races are processional, but that’s down to the bad aero packages and circuit designs. And i wonder if Keith could let Fota know our thoughts and opinions on the matter and find out what their actual reasoning is for the crappy idea please.

  19. If I can eat a triple cheeseburger,there is no reason to eat a double cheeseburger.
    I love every second of watching a race and the more I get the better !

  20. A short event is not a ‘big event’, it loses prestige.
    A football game lasts 2 hours on tv.
    A basketball game – up to 2 hours.
    A boxing event – about 3 hours.

    On fasts tracks, like Monza, there would be only 1 hour of racing. Sounds very unexciting.

    The races being boring is no argument for making them shorter. A long boring race at least feels like it’s something important. A short and boring race, however, would make the sport completely irrelevant.
    Also, the occasional interesting race would not be very memorable if it was short. Perhaps it would finish just before the tables are turned (as it so often happens in rainy GPs) – which would have made it exciting in the first place?

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