Formula 1
Formula 1
28 Mar
Event finished
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
FP1 in
3 days
R
Portuguese GP
02 May
Race in
19 days
09 May
Next event in
23 days
23 May
Race in
40 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
54 days
13 Jun
Race in
62 days
27 Jun
Race in
75 days
04 Jul
Next event in
79 days
18 Jul
Race in
97 days
R
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
110 days
29 Aug
Race in
138 days
05 Sep
Race in
145 days
26 Sep
Race in
166 days
R
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
170 days
10 Oct
Race in
180 days
R
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
195 days
31 Oct
Race in
202 days
R
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
222 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
243 days

F1 needs to try sprint races despite controversy - Wolff

Toto Wolff believes the introduction of sprint races to Formula 1 in 2021 is something the series "needs to do" despite accepting it will "create controversy".

F1 needs to try sprint races despite controversy - Wolff

F1 is currently establishing details for the running of sprint races at three grands prix in 2021, staged on Saturdays to set the grid for the Sunday race.

The proposal to hold sprint races in Canada, Italy and Brazil received "broad support" from teams at the latest F1 Commission meeting, but requires further details to be finalised before a decision is taken later this month.

Drivers have so far been lukewarm over the plans, with many airing concerns that it could devalue the main grand prix on Sundays.

But Mercedes team principal Wolff felt adding another race to the weekend schedule could be successful for F1, citing DTM's decision to hold races on Saturday and Sunday since 2014 as proof of the benefits.

"The sprint races are an interesting format in my opinion, and an experiment which I believe we need to do," Wolff said when asked by Motorsport.com for his view on the plan. "I've seen in other racing series, like DTM, that the audience almost doubled with having a Saturday and Sunday race, and that obviously can be monetised.

"I think if we were to do this without some interference to create a fake show, then there is merit to try it.

"I'm not sure we will like the outcome, because qualifying as we have it today is a real qualifying and a sprint race always bears the risk of damage which can be costly and a huge impact on Sunday's grid and the ability to perform.

"For sure it is going to create controversy too, but giving it a try for three races in 2021 in the right framework, we will be up for it."

Read Also:

F1 had originally considered staging sprint races at some events in 2020 using a reverse grid format, only for Mercedes to block the proposal.

Wolff stressed at the time that Mercedes would not support a "lottery" format by reversing the grid to favour its rivals, saying it went against the DNA of F1.

Despite now being in favour of sprint races, Wolff said it was only because the grid for the Saturday event would still be determined by a regular qualifying session on Saturday, avoiding any artificial results.

"Reverse grids have no place in any sport that is based on measuring and competing in the true sense of sport," Wolff said.

"We are entertainment, but the moment we slide into show and Hollywood, you will lose a lot of credibility as a sport overall.

"Not every decision that increases the entertainment factor is right for Formula 1. It always needs to be balanced between the DNA of true sport, best man and machine wins, and what the fans would like to see."

shares
comments

Related video

We’ll “get the best” out of Vettel at Aston, says Szafnauer

Previous article

We’ll “get the best” out of Vettel at Aston, says Szafnauer

Next article

Alpine explains decision to ditch F1 team principal role

Alpine explains decision to ditch F1 team principal role
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Luke Smith
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Prime

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…

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Prime

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 titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Prime

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of 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
Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now? Prime

Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been 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 Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Prime

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
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Prime

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle.

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his teammate's F1 career climb Prime

How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his teammate's F1 career climb

Kimi Raikkonen's emergence as a Formula 1 star in his rookie campaign remains one of the legendary storylines from 2001, but his exploits had an unwanted impact on his Sauber teammate's own prospects. Twenty years on from his first F1 podium at the Brazilian GP, here's how Nick Heidfeld's career was chilled by the Iceman.

Formula 1
Apr 3, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Prime

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021