Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

USA USA

Verstappen still "not a fan at all" of F1 sprints amid format talk

World champion Max Verstappen says he's still "not a fan at all" of Formula 1 sprint races even with the format changes discussed for Baku.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

From Baku onwards, the first of six sprints this year, teams have discussed a format change in which the sprint event and the grand prix each have their own qualifying sessions.

The new format, which is yet to be finalised, has received universal backing as it means the sprint will no longer impact the main race and drivers have no reason to play it safe on Saturday.

But Red Bull's Verstappen says he's still "not a fan at all" because sprints only add to what is already a very intense calendar for the teams.

"I'm not a fan of it at all," he said in Melbourne. "I think when we're going to do all that kind of stuff, the weekend becomes even more intense and we're already doing so many races.

"I think that is not the right way to go at it. I understand, of course, they want to have basically every day exciting, but then I think maybe it's better to just reduce the weekend, only race on Saturday and Sunday and make those two days exciting.

"Because we're heading into seasons where you have at one point 24, 25 races - because that's where we're going to head into - and if we then start adding even more stuff, it's not worth it for me anyway. I'm not enjoying that."

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, with his medal on the podium

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, with his medal on the podium

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Verstappen also said sprints don't fit the DNA of Formula 1 and thinks the spectacle will automatically get better as teams start converging more on performance.

"Even if you change the format, I don't find it's the DNA of Formula 1 to do these kinds of sprint races. F1 is about getting the most out of it in qualifying and then having an amazing Sunday, good long race distances.

"That's the DNA of the sport and I don't understand or I don't know why we should change that because I think the action has been good. And how do you get even more action is about getting the cars closer, getting more teams able to fight for the win. And I think naturally the show will be great.

"If we have six, seven teams already fighting for a win, that will be insane. Then you really don't need to change anything."

Mercedes driver George Russell was originally in Verstappen's camp, but he admitted he has warmed to the addition of sprints because of the extra entertainment they provide for the fans.

"When the sprint race was introduced in the beginning I wasn't a fan. After doing [six] of them, I've become more in favour," he said.

"Having action every single day, also for fans in the crowd... Just watching cars circulating in practice, I don't think it's as exciting as when you have a qualifying session like this or a sprint race.

"So I think it's exciting for us, for the teams, and for the fans."

Be part of Motorsport community

Join the conversation
Previous article The lessons "peak" Bottas learned at Mercedes that will elongate his F1 career
Next article Top 10: Formula 1's most chaotic startline incidents

Top Comments

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

USA USA