Ferrari backs "promising" F1 sprint race plans

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto is hopeful Formula 1 can finalise the details for its sprint race plan in 2021, calling the proposal "promising"

Ferrari backs "promising" F1 sprint race plans

F1 is planning to stage sprint races on the Saturday of three grands prix in 2021, identifying Canada, Italy and Brazil as the trial events.

The proposal would see a 100km sprint race take the place of qualifying to set the grid for the Sunday event, and enjoyed "broad support" from teams at the last F1 Commission meeting.

A working group has been formed to flesh out the plans and outline the finer details, with question marks lingering over the status of sprint races, chiefly relating to driver contracts.

Ferrari F1 chief Binotto said the team had been "very engaged" in talks over the plan, and was hopeful that it would deliver greater unpredictability in races in the future.

"We believe that changing for more spectacular and eventually for unpredictable races will be great," Binotto said.

"We are proactive in the discussions. We are supporting a change if that change will somehow achieve the goal and the objective I just mentioned.

"Discussions are ongoing. Discussions at the moment at least seem to be promising for a good output.

"But I still think we need to look at all the details. Details will make the difference in that respect.

"So I think teamwork really has to continue, and hopefully we will find a good solution."

The driver reaction to the sprint race proposal has so far been lukewarm. Red Bull driver Sergio Perez called the plan "risky", while McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo raised concerns about the grand prix wins being devalued.

Although Ferrari's Carlos Sainz Jr agreed with Ricciardo's point, he felt that 2021 was the perfect year in which to attempt a format change.

"I think until we try it, we will never know," Sainz said.

"It's super important that the main race, the grand prix, doesn't lose value.

"It is a bit dangerous that sometimes there can be two winners out of a grand prix weekend, and we need to make sure that there's only one winner out of the races that we're going to do a double race.

"But if there's a year that we should try it, I think it's 2021. With the future ahead, I think it's a good opportunity to try this kind of things and see how it goes."

Sainz's team-mate, Charles Leclerc, was also intrigued by what the change would do for F1 and how a shorter race would change drivers' approaches.

"I think it should at least be tried," Leclerc said.

"We need to understand how all of this will work with the points etc.

"The most important thing is that the main race remains the main race, and that the value of the main race doesn't go down. This is the main point on my side.

"But it might be interesting to try it at least, to have shorter races where we can attack more. I will be at least happy to try it."

shares
comments
The pointed note that starts Ferrari's Leclerc vs Sainz era

Previous article

The pointed note that starts Ferrari's Leclerc vs Sainz era

Next article

Williams retains Jamie Chadwick as Formula 1 development driver

Williams retains Jamie Chadwick as Formula 1 development driver
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Ferrari
Author Luke Smith
The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return Plus

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021 Plus

How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021

The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1
Apr 7, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Plus

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021