F1 considers sprint format tweak for 2023

Fri, 11 November 2022, 07:00

Nov.11 (GMM) Formula 1’s ‘sprint race’ weekend format could be shaken up for 2023.

This year and last, there were three sprint race weekends per season – with qualifying on Friday setting the order for a short race on Saturday.

The results of the sprint then set the grid for Sunday’s main grand prix.

And world champion Max Verstappen, despite his success with the format, admits he is no fan.

“Honestly, I’m just not a big fan of it because I feel like we don’t really race,” said the Red Bull driver.

“There are only a few points that you get but you also know that you can’t really risk much because the main race is where you really get the points.”

He said the lack of pitstops and the leading drivers’ caution then leads to less exciting races.

“I do like the one practice and then straight into qualifying,” said Verstappen. “It’s less practice for everyone to get fully up to speed and you need to really nail the setup so that’s ok.

“But I always feel that when I go into a sprint race that you’re not really risking a lot and just wanting to play safe.”

It is believed Formula 1 has listened to that sort of feedback and are now considering holding separate qualifying sessions for both the sprint and the grand prix.

“What I’d like is having qualifying for the sprint on Friday and qualifying for the main race on Saturday morning, as the free practice currently isn’t very meaningful for anyone,” said Haas boss Gunther Steiner.

When asked about that, Verstappen answered: “I honestly haven’t thought about it.

“I know that there will be six next year, so we can come up with things to discuss if we want it to be different and a bit more exciting.”

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