Sebastian Vettel has blasted Formula 1’s proposal to trial a new sprint race format at select events this season, saying the idea “makes no sense”.

As part of a fresh push to shake-up the Saturday format - after a reverse grid qualifying idea failed to get off the ground last year - F1 has come up with a new plan that would see shorter sprint races take place at three rounds in 2021.

Under the proposal, which was met by “broad support” from teams during the latest meeting of the F1 Commission, a 100km race would replace qualifying on Saturday to set the grid for Sunday’s main grand prix, with qualifying for the shorter event moving to Friday in place of second practice.

F1 is currently in the process of establishing final details for the planned races in Canada, Italy and Brazil, and a decision is hoped to be reached ahead of the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix on 28 March.

“I don’t know what the thinking is behind it,” new Aston Martin driver Vettel said when asked for his opinion on the proposal.

“I don’t like it. Why would you have a pre-final to a final? What’s the point of that? I don’t understand it.

“Obviously if there is a race on Saturday, then I will have to take part because I still want to drive on Sunday, but from my point of view, it makes no sense.”

The four-time world champion believes the idea is taking the focus away from F1’s “real problem” of the current generation of cars behind too difficult to race, and is simply a “patch rather than a fix”.

“You have the grand prix and it has always been around 300km and the main challenge of the weekend,” he explained.

“I I think if you have to introduce something like this, then there is something else that you need to fix other than the format, or another race, or another two minutes, or a Q4 or Q5, or whatever it is.

“It’s shifting or taking the focus away from the real problem. It’s more of a patch rather than really a fix.”

 

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