Formula 1: Sprint race under criticism

While still in Silverstone, fans, drivers and the Formula 1 makers were enthusiastic about the sprint qualifying. In Monza, the experiment went into the second round. This time there was more criticism than praise.
Mercedes sports director Toto Wolff says, for example: “Now we’re going to do it again in Interlagos, then we can say we’ve tried it and we can let it go again.”
The main criticism of sprint qualifying: There is more to lose than to win. Sergio Pérez in Silverstone and Pierre Gasly in Monza in particular felt this through their accidents. Sunday was over for them. Overtaking maneuvers are limited in the sprint. Because overtaking is generally difficult in Formula 1 and because the risk of a collision scares off the drivers and teams.

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Pérez becomes clear: “I think the sprint is just as boring for the fans as it is for us drivers. Basically, that doesn’t work at all. “

Alone: ​​The Formula 1 makers want to stick to the idea, but optimize it for 2022. Formula 1 sports director Ross Brawn says: “I would be disappointed if we no longer had the format in 2022. Because it brings commercial benefits. ”Sure: Friday will be upgraded by qualifying – more fans on the track, more viewers on the TV sets, more media attention.

In order to create even more incentives for overtaking, more points could be awarded. “You can of course do that and give points to the first ten drivers,” Wolff is skeptical. “But you don’t want to give the winner 20 points either, because that would devalue the actual Grand Prix.”

The sprint qualifying went into the second round in Monza.

Another idea is to run the sprint qualifying as an independent event. That means: Qualifying on Friday determines the starting grid for Saturday and Sunday. The sprint on Saturday would be an additional event for which there are points to be gained, but nothing to lose – because the starting grid for the Grand Prix remains unaffected.

Fernando Alonso has a different idea: Qualifying on Friday could again be run as an individual time trial. “Because if you have a lot of laps in qualifying, then the fastest cars are in front and the slowest are in the back – then there are no overtaking maneuvers in a sprint without strategic elements, too? In the individual time trial, mistakes or weather conditions would have a more pronounced effect, that would have its charm. “

ABMS found out which plan of improvement enjoys favorite status: Sprint qualifying is only to be run on racetracks where overtaking is easier: for example in Spa and Baku. The points should be distributed as follows: five for the winner, four for the second, three for the third.

Reversed starting grid rejected

Ferrari racing director Mattia Binotto even suggests reversing the grid for the sprint – so that the fastest cars are in the back and the slowest in the front. But the idea is rejected by the majority of the Formula 1 circus: too artificial, so the criticism.

Conclusion: It is unlikely that the Sprint in 2022 will take place again as it was in 2021. Changes to a standalone event or even the complete abolition are currently the most likely scenarios.

Formula 1 in the overview at SKY Q

By the way: Nice statistics for the sprint qualifying: At every Grand Prix for which this sprint has been held so far, there was a collision between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton in the Grand Prix. Exciting prospects for the Brazilian GP on November 14th …

Formula 1 on TV

Formula 1 will run at Sky in 2021. The station is setting up its own TV station for the new era: Sky Formula 1. Here there is motorsport 24 hours a day. All training sessions, all qualifying sessions, all races always live and without commercial breaks. Sky also broadcasts the Formula 2, Formula 3 and Porsche Supercup races. The program also includes historical races and special programs. You can find more information here

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