There’s a sprint race coming up at the Brazilian Grand Prix, but Max Verstappen isn’t too keen on it. As far as Verstappen is concerned, having six sprints is six too many, believing that the race on Sunday has enough excitement on its own and doesn’t require another mini-race in which drivers aren’t giving it their all for fear of damaging their cars.
Earlier this year, Verstappen said that, “I just don’t like the sprints. The emotions on a Sunday should be special. That’s the only day you should race. That’s how I grew up.”
Recently the World Champion added to these comments saying that there’s little point to the sprint because many drivers are simply cautious, holding off their main efforts for more points on Sunday.
As Verstappen explained, “During every sprint race I’m like, ‘Don’t get any damage, make sure you stay in the top three.’ For me, that’s not really racing because you know there are a lot more points to be earned in the main race. In that, you take a bit more risk.
“You have an extra start. That’s exciting. But other than that, it’s only the drivers who are not in their usual position who come to the front because the tyres last a whole race. Then not much happens.”
There’s enough excitement on Sunday, according to Verstappen, and there is little need for more action on Saturday.
“I don’t understand what’s wrong with that because we’ve had so many exciting races. You don’t have to add one third of a race distance. Everyone is so careful because if you make light contact in the fight for P3, for example, and fall back to last place, you know you will have a tough Sunday. You probably won’t take that risk, so it’s not really a race.”
Verstappen makes some good points here. There is little reason for a sprint especially as it’s often just a preview of what the actual race start will be like with little variation.
Lando Norris agrees with Verstappen. As he told the media that, “Growing up, always having qualifying and then a race, that’s always what I’ve known Formula 1 to be. So in a way, I’m with Max on that. I love just to build up the pressure of just having qualifying and one race with nothing coming between, that’s just the structure of it.”
However, Norris didn’t say that sprints have no place in F1, “At the correct track, I also don’t mind it. So when it was in Austria or Monza, tracks you can actually race on. Interlagos, reasonably, not the easiest track for most people to race on.”
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