Brawn says Monza F1 sprint had "plenty of action"

Formula 1 managing director Ross Brawn has defended the sport's new sprint format after the second of three planned experiments in Italy.

The Monza sprint has been criticised by fans and even drivers after a perceived lack of action on the track.

The event also served to split title contenders Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton on the grid for Sunday's Grand Prix.

Having qualified second and third, they will now be separated by the McLarens of Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris on Sunday, with Verstappen first and Hamilton fourth. 

Valtteri Bottas won the sprint qualifying event on the road, but he drops to the back of the grid for Sunday's Grand Prix with an engine change penalty.

"The whole weekend is evolving, we've got a three-stage event," said Brawn. "We've got quite a different complexion on the race tomorrow than we thought we had after qualifying on Friday. So I think it's great in that respect.

"A little bit quiet at the front of the grid, but then you get that at races anyway. Plenty of action in the middle.

"Plenty of action at the start, we had a very exciting start. So I think it's added to it, I think it's added to the whole thing."

Brawn agreed that greater tyre variety than seen in the first sprint at Silverstone, with more teams opting for the soft tyre, added to the show. Ricciardo and Norris used it to jump ahead of Hamilton off the start.

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

"Well, that's what I think I mean, you know that this has brought a different complexion to tomorrow, McLaren made a brave decision.

"The consequence was that they are now higher up the grid tomorrow. And as people start to see what they can do in the sprint, then we hope they're going to bring more variety."

Asked by Motorsport.com if fans would be disappointed that Verstappen and Hamilton were now split on the grid for Sunday's race, he said: "I guess it depends which fans you talk to! But they were together today.

"Lewis made a bad start, if he'd made a bad start tomorrow, could be the race was over, but now at least he's got an opportunity."

Brawn conceded that the Monza event saw less overtaking than he had expected, although he's convinced that the 2022 rules package will improve the situation.

"We're optimistic that next year's car is going to help a lot. But I must say I was surprised how difficult it was to overtake, even with DRS.

"This was one of the races we selected because we thought there would be more opportunity, but as the race panned out, that didn't seem to be the case. So next year's car will definitely be a step forward."

Brawn stressed that this was always going to be an experiment over three events, with the last to come in Interlagos.

"We might find in Brazil we have a fantastic sprint. So it's over three races, we want to judge it. It's probably an element in this event that drivers take a little less risk. Because they know they want to be there.

"It's unfortunate Pierre [Gasly] had his accident, but now he's got a chance in the race that he wouldn't have had if that happened in the race. So lots of positives that we need to work on and build for what we take into next year."

shares
comments
Perez: "Very boring" F1 sprint races "don't bring anything"

Previous article

Perez: "Very boring" F1 sprint races "don't bring anything"

Next article

Bottas: Not getting official Monza 2021 F1 pole stat "annoying"

Bottas: Not getting official Monza 2021 F1 pole stat "annoying"
Load comments
Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Prime

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. Kevin Turner looks back at the life of Switzerland's first F1 winner on the 50th anniversary of his death

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Prime

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Prime

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Prime

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Tim Wright.

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Prime

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? Stuart Codling talks to the man in charge.

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Prime

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Prime

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers Prime

How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021