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Formula 1 Fans Irate As Director Wants Sprint Races To Be The Norm

Formula 1 Fans Irate As Director Wants Sprint Races To Be The Norm
By Jonathan Byrne
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The new sprint races trialed during the current Formula 1 season could be seen a lot more in the near future, and even be a feature at every racing weekend.

That's according to former Mercedes boss Ross Brawn, who's now in the role of managing director of the Formula One group.

Introduced this year, the sprint races move qualifying to Friday, with the special race held on a Saturday covering one-third the distance of the grand prix.

Brawn told BBC Sport there was "no reason" that the sprint race stipulation couldn't be added along with qualifying at every event in the future.

"It's open. It could evolve that way, but if it does, it will be because it's the best thing to do," Brawn said. This season saw the sprint race trialed at three events.

Next year, the sprint race format will be seen over six grand prix weekends. It's clear the F1 group have believe it brings some sort of added value.

"We are taking it carefully step by step and off the back of six you can decide whether you want to increase the number," Brawn told BBC Sport.


"I don't think we should be afraid of doing that because, if we did that, it would be a measure of the success of the sprint. And if that is the format for the future then we have gone about it the right way."

Formula 1 Fan Backlash

Many of the reaction on social media has been negative from the fans, with one saying, "When will you learn to stop mucking about with things?"


A huge gripe many have had with the format of the sprint event is that the winner doesn't go to the fastest lap, and it lies within the winner of the race.


What has actually transpired, from a watching perspective, is a rather rudimentary and shortened race with little overtaking. That's something Brawn says has "clearly not been popular".

"The overall weekend has improved so much we will go with it, but we are discussing with the teams how to make a bit more Saturday more challenging and engaging," he said.

"I am optimistic the new cars will help because of their ability to race each other. We are going to be relatively conservative in the step we've made. We don't want to spoil it by overstepping and people feeling it's gone too far."


This year's sprint race events were held at the British and Italian Grand Prix's, with the next being held in Brazil on November 13th.

Formula 1 Driver Feedback 

According to the BBC, Brawn said that they've had a positive reaction from drivers and teams, most notably for jazzing up the weekend as whole.

He's cited the change of tune on Friday's, which were nothing more than a long practice run for drivers. He says they're happier with the shorter drive.


"To be frank, we've had a bigger impact on the Friday than we anticipated," Brawn said. "That's why we're doing this experiment."

"Talking to the drivers about the sprint, they've said Friday is great now because they get in and get an hour of practice and they have to go for it."

"Friday had pretty uniform support from most of the drivers. The only ones who were a little apprehensive were the rookies who didn't get as much running as they might have enjoyed."

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