Ferrari has voiced its approval of sprint races being introduced for the 2021 Formula 1 season as a way to determine the grid for Sunday’s races.

The proposed idea would have qualifying moved to a Friday with a sprint race taking place on Saturday to decide the grid for Sunday’s race.

Following a meeting of the F1 Commission last month, the idea appears to be backed by most of the teams although nothing finalised has been agreed upon.

Initially, F1 wanted to implement reverse grid races instead, however, new CEO Stefano Domenicali has already revealed this format is no longer being considered.

Speaking at the team’s launch, Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto believes the introduction of sprint races will improve the spectacle for fans.

“First, we’re very engaged in the discussions with Formula 1 and the FIA, we believe that changing for more spectacle and, eventually, for unpredictable races will be great,” Binotto said. “I think we are part of the discussions, we are somehow supporting the changes, of that change will somehow achieve the goals and the targets we’ve just mentioned.

“The discussion is ongoing, the discussions at the moment seem to be promising for a good outcome but we still need to look at the details. Details will make the difference, in that respect, so I think the teamwork has to continue and hopefully we’ll find a good solution.”

Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz are keen to try the format out but insist the sprint race shouldn’t detract from the main grand prix on a Sunday.

“On my side, what I think from a driver’s perspective, I think it’s quite interesting, I think it should be tried, at least, then we need to understand how all of this will work, with the points, etc. I think the most important thing is that the main race remains the main race and that the value of the main race doesn’t go down,” Leclerc said. “I think this is the main point on my side. It’s might be, at least, interesting to try it, to have shorter races where we can attack more, so I’ll be happy to try it, at least.

“For me, I think that until we try it, we don’t know. I think it’s one of those things that until you get a fresh go at it you’ll never know exactly how it goes. Personally, I think it’s super important that the main race doesn’t lose value.”

Sainz added: “I think there’s the danger that sometimes there can be two winners in a Grand Prix weekend and we need to make sure that there’s only one winner from what we’ll end up doing with the double race. For the rest, I think if there’s a year where we should try it, it’s 2021, looking at the future ahead, I think it’s a good opportunity to try these things and see how it goes. Let’s see.”

 

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