Max Verstappen has explained why Sprint Races are of no interest to him, describing them as relatively unimportant for drivers in the grand scheme of things.
Sprint Races have proven relatively one-dimensional since their introduction, producing very few memorable moments in the last two seasons.
Formula 1, like most sporting events, takes some time before reaching its climax – with strategy evolving throughout a Grand Prix.
Football, Basketball and most sports would struggle to generate their usual engagement by reducing the length of playing time to just one-third.
It is, therefore, unsurprising that this artificial attempt to stimulate excitement by compressing a race into just thirty minutes has been relatively unsuccessful.
Whilst some enjoy the Sprint race weekend formed, Max Verstappen (as quoted by motorsportweek) has outlined some of its core issues:
“Every time I do these races, I think, ‘don’t get damage, make sure you stay in the top three.’
“For me, that’s not really a race because you go into the main race, and you know there are way more points available anyway. You just risk a bit more there.
“You do another start [with Sprints] which is exciting, but it’s only really people who are out of position that move forward…
“You put a tyre on that just lasts a whole stint, and not much happens…
“I don’t understand what the problem is for that because we’ve had so many exciting races, so you don’t need to add one-third of a race distance.”
Others have echoed Verstappen’s doubts across the F1 paddock, but this has failed to prevent Stefano Domenicali from announcing Six Sprint races will take place in 2023.
There is no denying that Sprint Races give each day in the race weekend a specific purpose when, traditionally, the Friday Practice sessions are of little interest.
Still, the efforts to increase the number of Sprint races can be described as a manifestation of F1’s obsession with becoming more dramatic and extravagant.
All sporting events look to improve their viewership and overall popularity, but few can be said to make fundamental changes as frequently as Formula 1.