The Future of Sprint Races in F1: Pilots Express Mixed Reactions
The race weekend in Sao Paulo concluded the largest offering of sprint races in the Formula 1 (F1) season, with the number increasing from three to six for this campaign. However, the reception among pilots remains lukewarm, with Max Verstappen expressing his desire for F1 to abandon the sprint experiment and return to a “normal race weekend”.
A Change in Format
This followed a sprint meeting in Brazil that had moments of intrigue beyond the top three, but could be perceived as less successful compared to its offerings in 2021 and 2022. The sprint no longer has an impact on Sunday’s grand prix qualifying order, with Saturday acting as a separate day for the qualifying and sprint race events.
Pilots’ Suggestions for Improvement
A change in session order is expected for 2024, with sprint qualifying moving to Fridays. However, Sergio Perez has suggested that the FIA should further tweak the format and advocate for a sprint race with a reverse grid. “I think that if they want to keep this format of sprint races, we have to change it,” Perez responded when asked about his desired settings for sprint weekends.
Making It More Exciting
Perez proposed an inverted grid, stating that it would make the races more interesting for the fans. He believes that the current format does not create enough action on the track. “Nothing really happens in this type of racing. I think [an inverted grid] would mix things up and create more opportunities, a lot more overtakes,” Perez explained.
Photo: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images
Sergio Pérez, Red Bull Racing RB19, George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, at the start.