F1 sprints don’t work for drivers, fans or teams


Despite a fun race in São Paulo this weekend, especially due to the fights in the middle pack, there is a growing feeling in the paddock of Formula 1 that the isolated Saturday of sprint races is not delivering what it should. And therefore, the head of Red Bull, Christian Horneronce again harshly criticized the format.

Due to the failure to capture the taste of drivers, with some advocating ending sprints altogether, Horner says the way they are done at the moment does no one any favours.

“What we have at the moment is not right for the drivers, the fans or the teams,” he said. “We need more. We’ve just won a sprint and no one knows what to do because the focus is already on the GP. It’s as if we’ve won a medal for winning a race simulation.”

F1 bosses have already begun discussing with teams potential changes to the format for 2024, with several ideas on the table, including the adoption of reversed grids, the creation of their own championship and an inversion of schedules with GP quali.

Horner made it clear that any revision to the format needs to be major, going beyond just tweaking ‘here and there’.

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing

He even suggests that one way to increase its intensity would be to offer cash prizes.

“Maybe a cool thing is a huge prize fund for driver and team. That always motivates. Maybe then we’ll see a celebration at the end. Maybe it’s good to look at it differently. If you look at football leagues and other sports, they have their major leagues and the finals. Maybe it would be cool to think about something very different.”

Horner admits he doesn’t have a preference on what the best new format for sprints would be, but says he is skeptical about creating a separate championship.

“Who cares about a sprint championship? We can do better. I think there is a desire, you can see it from the fans, to have a race on Saturday? But what should it be like?”

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Lando Norris, McLaren, 2nd position, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing, 3rd position, on the Sprint racepodium with their trophies

“Should it be an inverted grid? In the order of the championship? Should we distribute more points? Would it be better to have two GPs in a weekend instead of one? I don’t have the answer, but I know that what we have today needs to be fine-tuned.”

While Horner is aware that F1 bosses are committed to maintaining the idea of ​​sprints, he says his preference is to eliminate the format.

“I prefer the old format. I’m a traditionalist, I like this growing format. It’s like we have quarterfinals, semifinals and finals. You don’t have the third-best seed playing in the first week of Wimbledon.”

See DEBATE about the São Paulo GP sprint race

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The article is in Portuguese

Tags: sprints dont work drivers fans teams



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