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Todt not a fan of sprint qualifying: "I don't think F1 needs it"

FIA president Jean Todt says he's not a fan of Formula 1's sprint qualifying format, which will be trialled at the British GP for the first time.

Jean Todt, President, FIA

Jean Todt, President, FIA

Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

The 17-lap Saturday race will determine the starting line-up for Sunday's grand prix at the Silverstone and Monza events, and also at one flyaway event that has yet to be confirmed.

Speaking at the French GP, Todt said he doesn't think F1 needs the novelty of a Saturday sprint, but he's willing to give the new format a go, believing that there's nothing to be lost by experimenting.

"Number one, we don't call that a race," Todt said.

"I had part of the responsibility of not calling that a race. For me the race is on Sunday. If you ask me if I'm a big fan of that, the answer is no.

"I don't think F1 needs it. But on the other side, if people want to try something, it's not going to hurt the race on Sunday. It will be a different way of having a starting grid on Sunday, so it costs to nothing to try.

"I'm curious to see what will come out, but I'm sure that it will not damage the race on Sunday.

"People may say it was more interesting on Saturday than on Sunday, but that's not too big a risk for the image and for the credibility of the of the championship."

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, and Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12, prepare to lead the field away for the start

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, and Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12, prepare to lead the field away for the start

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Almost a year after the late start of the 2020 world championship, Todt praised the efforts of F1, the FIA and the teams to keep staging grands prix through the pandemic.

"We all know that we are going through a difficult time," said Todt. "And I think the job everybody has been contributing to make all that happening is absolutely remarkable.

"I usually say that it's in difficult times that you see the strength together, and I think it has been the result of a combination since we restarted the championship last July, almost one year ago.

"This week, we should not be should not have been here, incidentally, it should have been next week. We are going to face three grands prix in a row. Every time it has been a problem, a solution has been found."

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