Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen, of Finland, holds the trophy after winning the Formula One U.S. Grand Prix auto race at the Circuit of the Americas, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018, in Austin, Texas. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, right, of Britain, finished third. Image Credit: AP

Abu Dhabi: Drivers from smaller teams have welcomed a host of changes mooted to make Formula 1 racing more exciting and engaging to all concerned.

As per the 2021 road map, the F1 calendar will witness a host of changes including better-looking cars, fairer finances between teams and a revised schedule at race weekends in an attempt to make the sport more dynamic while sustaining it for the future. The new plan put together jointly by the FIA and F1 will seek to create a new vision following the conclusion of the current Concorde Agreement that will end once the 2020 season is over.

Not only will the new cars have a radical new design philosophy and striking new look, but teams will have to adhere to spending restrictions to make the sport more sustainable and fairer between teams.

One of the key changes from 2021 will be to the actual F1 race weekend format that will get condensed from four days (the current Thursday to Sunday) to three days (Friday to Sunday). “The changes should happen next year [2020] already. I mean, the Thursday is a completely useless day where honestly we are going to talk the same things, half of the things we talk at least on Sunday after the last race and tomorrow [Friday] again,” 2007 F1 world champion Kimi Raikkonen told media, late on Thursday.

“I think it will be a good step because people don’t need to be away that many days, and there’s no cost and hotels. I feel it will be better for the team as we will be wasting less time,” the 40-year-old Alfa Romeo driver added.

Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly welcomed the changes. “I think everyone in this room is happy about it. We get more days at home, more days with the family. I think it’s needed. I would say we almost have the easiest life in the paddock, but for the others like the mechanics and engineers, things can be tough,” he observed.

“Shorter race weekends from 2021 is a good step, but we can hope at the same time that we don’t increase the number of races too much,” the 23-year-old French driver added.

Gasly’s teammate at Toro Rosso Daniil Kvyat was also in favour of the shorter weekends. “No problem if we have more races, but we can balance it off with shorter weekends,” Kvyat said.

“We shouldn’t forget that with the racing we also do a lot of simulator training, a lot of PR events and this leads to a rather difficult calendar. Some guys have families within the team, and so shorter weekends will be the way forward in everyone’s interest,” the 25-year-old Russian added.

McLaren’s Carlos Sainz, though, had his doubts. “Personally, I like when Formula 1 goes to a place it makes a big impact, so it becomes a week of having Formula 1 there,” Sainz said.

“But, I think it still involves too much travelling and too much effort from the mechanics. But I think this is a way of preparing for a bigger calendar, which is something I am totally against. I mean, 21 or 22 races already feels too much. I think that last extra day that we take off doesn’t fully compensate those 22 or 25 races that we want to have in the future.”