Verstappen demands F1 scrap new format
By Ian Parkes
Sunday 30th April, 2023 - 3:14am
Max Verstappen has called on F1 to scrap its new sprint weekend format, believing the sport is doing nothing more than creating “artificial excitement”.
As an F1 purist, Verstappen has long been a critic of the sprint since its implementation in 2021, resulting in comments of late that further tinkering could force him out when his current Red Bull contract expires at the end of 2028.
Following the two days of on-track action ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, which included two qualifying sessions and a 17-lap sprint in which he finished third after a collision with George Russell that sparked anger from the reigning champion towards the Mercedes driver in parc fermé, Verstappen made clear his dislike of what he had experienced.
“Just scrap the whole thing,” said Verstappen when asked by Speedcafe.
“I think it’s just important to go back to what we have, and make sure that every team can fight for a win.
“That’s what we have to try and aim for and (not) try to implement all this kind of artificial excitement.
“I would say I got bored through today’s qualifying, to be honest. I like to have one particular qualifying where you just put everything in it, and that was yesterday (Friday), which I of course enjoy, and then we have to do it again.
“I’m like ‘My God! Another qualifying?’ I just don’t really enjoy that.”
Verstappen like a Vegas gambler
Immediately after the sprint shootout qualifying session, Verstappen had initially described the new format as “terrible”.
Expanding further, the 25-year-old continued to pour scorn.
“It’s hectic, it’s just not proper racing,” he added.
“It’s more like gambling. I think I would have more success in (Las) Vegas if I go to the casino.
“I like racing, I’m a pure racer and I think this is more for the show. Of course, it’s important to have entertainment.
“But if all the cars are closer you’d create better entertainment anyway than trying to do it like this.
“It feels like a football match and it’s 3-0 up for one team and then suddenly you just say ‘Oh, let’s reset it to 0-0 and go again’.
“I find that a bit unnecessary, these kinds of things.”
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