Verstappen and Perez unsure F1 needs "risky" sprint races

Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez are unsure Formula 1 needs to introduce "risky" sprint races to its weekend format ahead of a potential trial in 2021

Verstappen and Perez unsure F1 needs "risky" sprint races

F1 is currently evaluating the introduction of sprint races on the Saturday of three events this year, running a 100km race that would set the grid for the Sunday grand prix.

The plan received "broad support" from teams at the latest F1 Commission meeting, with further details currently being outlined by a working group.

Officials have identified races in Canada, Italy and Brazil as being the trial events for sprint races in 2021.

The proposals have received lukewarm support from drivers so far, with Red Bull duo Verstappen and Perez becoming the latest drivers to air their uncertainty over the idea.

Perez previously experienced a sprint race when he was racing in GP2 in 2010, and although he was open to the plan for F1, he stressed the importance of protecting the series' DNA.

"I just think we've got to be careful that we don't lose the DNA of Formula 1," Perez said when asked by Autosport for his thoughts on the plan.

"I think it's a very thin line. It's a bit risky.

"I'm open to it. I don't know what to expect really, how it will change the format in Formula 1 once we've done it.

"For me, the most important thing is that F1 keeps with the DNA."

Verstappen was similarly cautious in discussing the plan, saying that if drivers were able to race each other closely and have greater competition at the front of the pack, there would be no need for the sprint events.

"It's not necessarily about more racing [on a weekend]," Verstappen said.

"I quite like doing a one-and-a-half-hour race, because if we have good cars like we can race closely and more teams are able to fight for victory, you don't need sprint races.

"I think we don't need to really mix it up that much the whole programme. We just need to make sure that you fight for the win."

Under the proposal, qualifying would still take place under the existing format, running on Friday to set the grid for the sprint race on Saturday.

The working group is set to report its findings back to the FIA and F1 in the coming weeks, with a decision then due to be taken before the start of the new season in Bahrain at the end of March.

shares
comments
Liberty "not worried" by F1 balance sheet after recording loss

Previous article

Liberty "not worried" by F1 balance sheet after recording loss

Next article

The mantra Ocon must follow to challenge Alonso

The mantra Ocon must follow to challenge Alonso
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Jos Verstappen , Max Verstappen , Sergio Perez
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