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George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23
Autosport Plus
Opinion

The winners and losers from F1's new sprint format

OPINION: Sprint races are returning to Formula 1 for the first time in 2023 with this weekend’s action in Baku. That will be different to what has come before as the sprint rule updates continue. But the results are still not universally popular amongst fans and competitors. Here’s why

Can a two-year old concept really be revolutionised? Surely not, but a philosophical starting point is appropriate given Formula 1’s biggest concept change is years is once again returning to the championship’s focus, as sprint racing returns for the first time in 2023 at this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Having settled on the practice/knockout-qualifying/race format for 15 years, bar the small experiment with the unloved elimination qualifying in early 2016, sprint races arrived with the intention of ‘shaking up’ F1 weekends. One can imagine those who use the contemptable phrase ‘industry disruptors’ being delighted by such a vow, but nevertheless evolution and rule-changing has long been a part of F1’s DNA. This extends to weekend formats too.

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