Wolff calls for analysis into ‘boring’ F1 races
By Ian Parkes, Mat Coch
Tuesday 2nd May, 2023 - 7:49pm
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has suggested Formula 1 looks into why Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix proved less than thrilling to prevent ‘boring’ races in future.
Sergio Perez led a Red Bull one-two in Baku in a race that had few highlights on a circuit typically famed for its unpredictability.
Instead, there was a single safety car interruption after Nyck de Vries tagged the wall and broke the front-left suspension on his AlphaTauri.
“It was not a thriller,” said Wolff.
“Just no overtaking – even with a big pace difference- made it, I guess, not great entertainment.
“But we have to analyse the weekend, with the sprint format, whether there are positives we can take out.
“But in the end, it all comes down to racing. It needs the tough battles.
“We really need to look at it, how we can we avoid just a boring race.”
This year’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix saw the DRS zone on the 2.2km front straight reduced in length by 100 metres, though Wolff does not believe that to be the root cause.
Instead, he suggests the sport needs to take a deeper dive to understand the issue, though also warned against overreacting.
“After a race weekend like this, we mustn’t talk it down overall and say ‘That is the wrong direction. We need to change completely’,” he reasoned.
“It’s more about understanding why was it not so entertaining, or why wasn’t it entertaining, and revisiting it.
“You have two cars that are sailing off into the sunset on merit, then there is a 20-second gap.
“I wouldn’t know between Aston Martin, Ferrari and us who’s quickest because when you’re stuck, that’s pretty much it.
“So it’s worth finding more data sets, like in the next races how this is going, and then maybe we need to adjust.”
The Azerbaijan GP was the first time the revised sprint weekend schedule was used.
That saw two qualifying sessions, one apiece for the sprint and grand prix, but with the standard tyre allocation.
Formula 1 moves immediately on to Miami this weekend for round five of the season while the sprint format is not set to reappear until the Austrian Grand Prix run from June 30-July 2.
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