Every word of Verstappen’s scathing sprint race rant

Max Verstappen’s scathing criticism of sprint races has continued at the Australian Grand Prix, with the Red Bull driver saying the format goes against “the DNA of F1”. 
Every word of Verstappen’s scathing sprint race rant

The reigning world champion, who has previously explained why he is not a fan of sprint races, threatened to quit the sport if championship bosses continue to tinker with the race weekend format. 

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It emerged in Australia that F1 is considering an overhaul to the sprint event format in time for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix at the end of the month. 

The new proposal could see the sprint race and grand prix have separate qualifying sessions with the results of the sprint no longer setting the grid for Sunday’s main race. 

But Verstappen, who said sprint races are about “surviving rather than racing”, is against the idea. 

“I’m not a fan of it at all,” the Dutchman said after claiming pole position in Melbourne. “When we do all that kind of stuff the weekend becomes more intense and we’re already doing so many races. So that’s not the right way to go about it.

“I understand of course they wanted to have every day exciting but then it’s maybe better to reduce the weekend, only race on Saturday and Sunday and make those two days exciting.

“We are adding into seasons that will soon have 24 or 25 races and if you start adding even more stuff, it’s not worth it for me, I’m not enjoying that.

“For me, a sprint race is all about surviving, it’s not about racing. When you have a quick car there’s nothing to risk.

Every word of Verstappen’s scathing sprint race rant

“I prefer to just keep my car alive and make sure you have a good race car for Sunday. Even if you change the format, I don’t find it’s the DNA of F1 to do these kind of sprint races.

“F1 is about getting the most out of it in qualifying and having an amazing Sunday with a good long race distance, that’s the DNA of the sport.

“I don’t understand or I don’t know why we should change that because I think the action has been good and how do you get even more action? 

“It’s about getting the cars closer, getting more teams able to fight for the win. I think naturally the show will be great.

“If we have six or seven teams fighting for the win that would be insane and you really don’t really need to change anything.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner blasted plans to hold the first of six sprint events in 2023 in Baku as “ludicrous”. 

"The reality is it's absolutely ludicrous to be doing the first sprint race of the year in a street race like Azerbaijan," Horner said during Friday’s team principal press conferences. 

"But I think from a spectacle point of view, from a fan point of view, it's probably going to be one of the most exciting sprint races of the year.

"From a cost cap perspective, all you can do is trash your car. And it costs a lot of money around there.

"So you know one race is enough in Baku. The fact that we've got two, there could be, well, some action there.”

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