Max Verstappen no fan of F1 Sprint that's 'not really a race'

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Max Verstappen admits he isn't a fan of Formula 1's Sprint format ahead of the last one in 2022 at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

The two-time world champion is comfortably the most successful driver in the five previous Sprints held so far with three wins and two second places.

But despite that, or maybe even because of it, Verstappen's view is the short 100km dash on a Saturday is about little more than ensuring nothing goes wrong.

“I don’t like it,” he said via RaceFans. "I don’t mind the one practice and going straight into qualifying – I think it probably is even better for me. I just don’t like that there’s no feeling with it.

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"Every time I do these [Sprint] races, it’s about ‘don’t get damage, make sure you stay in the top three'.

"For me, that’s not really a race because you go into the main race and you know there are way more points available anyway, you just risk a bit more there.

"You do another start, which is exciting, but it’s only really people who are out of position that move forward because you put a tyre on that just lasts a whole stint and not much happens.

"[It's] just a little bit less exciting, but we'll still try to win it, of course,"

Next year, F1 is set to double the number of Sprint races to six, while further changes to the format are expected to try and increase their significance.

Even so: “I think we should just stick to one race. I don’t understand what the problem is for that because we’ve had so many exciting races, so you don’t need to add one-third of a race distance," Verstappen continued.

"Everyone is so careful anyway because if you are fighting for third and you have a little touch and drop to last, you know your Sunday is going to be tough.

"Probably you won’t risk it, so that’s not really a race."

One man with a slightly more favourable view on the format is Lewis Hamilton, who gained 15 places from 20th to fifth during last year's Sprint at Interlagos.


And he believes the key to their success is picking the right circuits.

“I like the format because it’s just different. We’ve had the same Thursday to Sunday for God knows how long," the seven-time world champion said.

"The race is not always the greatest, but it does create a little more option. Sometimes there’s no overtaking, so we should hopefully learn from the races where there has been no overtaking in most of the races and put them in places like Brazil, which does create a lot of opportunity. Or somewhere like Baku.”