The first sprint race of the year in Formula 1 took place this weekend. World Champion Max Verstappen (25) wasn’t terribly impressed. It is believed that it is “artificial tension”.
His advice is clear:
The statement is reproduced from before Sky Sports After teammate Sergio Perez won Saturday’s sprint with Charles Leclerc second and Verstappen third.
– I think it’s important to go back to where we were and make sure all teams can fight for victory – rather than trying to introduce this artificial tension.
Verstappen is the favorite to win his third consecutive gold medal, but the Dutchman doesn’t particularly appreciate the fact that six sprint races are planned this season.
A few days before the race in Baku, a completely new format was also decided, which means that there is a separate qualification for the sprint race in the morning of the same day, the so-called “Sprint Shootout”. For the main Sunday race there was a Friday afternoon qualifier. This is completely new to the sport of Formula 1.
– I would love to have a qualification in which you put everything. It was Friday. And when there was another qualifier on Saturday, I thought, “Oh my God, another qualifier,” and I just don’t like it. I was bored.
according to F1 Insider Verstappen says:
– It’s not a real race. It’s more than a lottery. In Las Vegas you have better chances.
He also compares it to soccer:
– It’s good for show, but it’s like a soccer match: you win 1-0, then you have to play again. I think it’s a bit redundant.
Former Formula 1 world champion Damon Hill was unimpressed by these remarks:
– He’s just whining – a bad loser, he tells Sky Sports.
– It’s the same for everyone. It’s the same competition, continues the Briton.
However, Charles Leclerc partially agrees with Verstappen:
– I don’t want this to be the standard format. It’s okay to run three or four times during the season. It puts a lot of pressure on the drivers, says the Ferrari driver SPIEGEL.
Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez also partly agrees with Verstappen wanting no more than four sprint races a year:
“It’s very hectic,” he says of a two-race weekend.
There are still five such weekends left in 2023: Spielberg in Austria, Spa in Belgium, Doha in Qatar, Austin in the United States, and São Paulo in Brazil.
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