F1 chiefs consider MotoGP merger for unique race weekend

With 24 F1 races and 22 MotoGP races planned for 2024, could the two series ever merge?

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Formula 1 and MotoGP chiefs are still exploring the possibility of an ambitious project to bring together the two motorsport series to take place on the same race weekend.

F1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali is making plans for the future and has held discussions with Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna – the company that own a majority stake in MotoGP – to assess whether the unique event would be feasible after the idea was floated in March 2023.

There are already four circuits where both F1 and MotoGP take place, with Barcelona, the Red Bull Ring, Silverstone and the Circuit of the Americas able to accommodate both types of racing.

It may be several years before it is determined whether it could happen or not, with a line of questions to answer concerning safety standards and positioning of different barriers. What’s more, there are entirely different sponsors for the top two series in motorsport – making it difficult to share out the necessary space for sponsors at races.

But Ezpeleta certainly believes that if it is possible to merge the two sports together, it is something he will explore due to his rapport with F1 power broker Domenicali.

β€œWith Stefano Domenicali, with whom I have had an extraordinary relationship for many years, we have been thinking about it for some time,” Ezpeleta said. “Clearly it’s not easy, but I can say that this idea hasn’t left our thoughts. If it can be done, we will do it.”

Lewis Hamilton might be an advocate

Lewis Hamilton has already made the step across F1 to MotoGP, albeit for one track test, when he rode Valentino Rossi’s Yamaha in 2019 and may be in favour of a one-time crossover. Likewise, Rossi revealed he came close to switching disciplines.

The Briton has made no secret of his passion for motorbikes and suggested he is in awe of his fellow racers due to the dangers that riding a motorbike poses.

“For us… I personally think that MotoGP is more hardcore – these guys don’t have seatbelts!” Hamilton said in 2022. “When they have a crash, it’s big. It’s very, very difficult for them to improve safety, so that fear factor is always there and it’s been there for years.

“Maybe there’s a bit of traction control and lift control but, generally, you can be thrown off. In [F1], it’s getting safer and safer and safer.”

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