Verstappen no fan of F1 sprint races as format change mooted

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Double Formula One world champion Max Verstappen said he was not a big fan of sprint races, despite winning both of the ones held this season, as the sport discusses future format changes.

Sprint qualifying is held on Friday to determine the starting grid for a race on Saturday in which the top eight score points and that decides where drivers line up for Sunday’s main event.

This weekend’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix in Brazil will be the third sprint event of the year with six scheduled for next season.

“Honestly, I’m just not a big fan of it,” Verstappen told reporters at Interlagos.

“I feel like we don’t really race (on Saturday). There are a few points that you get, right, but you also know that you can’t really risk it because the main race is where you really get the points.

“You don’t do a pitstop so you just put on the tyre which will last the distance….You don’t really see a lot of overtaking unless there is a car out of position.

“So then it’s not really that fun for me,” added the Red Bull driver, who is going for his 15th win of the season on Sunday after clinching the title with four races to spare.

Verstappen said he liked going straight into qualifying after one practice session on Friday rather than three at a regular grand prix.

Formula One is considering making the sprint, which was introduced last year, a stand-alone event not linked to Sunday’s starting grid in future to make it more exciting for fans.

The subject has been discussed by teams but no decision has been taken.

Although Formula One has published a 2023 calendar with a record 24 races, it has yet to say where the sprints will be held.