Red Bull Racing’s Dutch driver Max Verstappen speaks during a press conference at the Aut?dromo Jos? Carlos Pace race track in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on November 10, 2022, ahead of the Formula One Brazil Grand Prix. — AFP pic
SAO PAULO, Nov 11 — Max Verstappen on Thursday led calls for a reform of ‘sprint races’ next season and described them as ‘not that much fun’.
The two-time world champion, who won last year’s sprint at Sao Paulo and has won both previous ones this season, spoke out while talking to reporters ahead of this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.
“I’m not a big fan of it because I feel like we don’t really race,” he said.
“We get a few points, but you also know you can’t really race because the main race is where you really get the points.
“You don’t do a pitstop, so you put on tyres that will last the distance. The racing is a little bit better, but overall you don’t really see a lot of overtaking unless there is a car out of position, and it’s not really that much fun for me.”
This weekend’s sprint race at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix will take place on Saturday and will offer points as well as setting the grid for Sunday’s full race.
“I know that we’ll have six next year,” the Dutchman said.
“We can come up with things to discuss if we want to do it in a different way, maybe to make it a bit more exciting, at least for me.
“I do like that one practice and going straight to qualifying. I don’t mind that because it’s less practice for everyone to get fully up to speed and you need to really nail the set-up.”
He was backed by Haas driver Kevin Magnussen who said that the format needed revising.
“Max has a good point that the risk you want to take in the sprint is less because it decides your position for Sunday,” he said. “I think maybe a good tweak could be to separate that so you can go for it.
“I do enjoy going from Practice One into qualifying as well because, as Max said, it puts a lot of pressure to find the rhythm quickly and get the set-up right. I feel like when there are three practices it is quite a lot.” — AFP