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Ferrari back sprint race proposal to add spectacle and unpredictability to F1

Ferrari back sprint race proposal to add spectacle and unpredictability to F1

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Ferrari back sprint race proposal to add spectacle and unpredictability to F1

Ferrari back sprint race proposal to add spectacle and unpredictability to F1
Ian Parkes

Ferrari has voiced its support for the introduction of sprint races into Formula 1 as it believes they will provide "spectacle" and deliver "unpredictable races".

F1 is currently mulling over whether to shake up the weekend format which would see a sprint race on a Saturday afternoon replacing qualifying.

Qualifying for the sprint race would take place on Friday afternoon instead of second practice, with the grid for the grand prix on Sunday being determined by the outcome of the one-third distance event.

At present, the proposal is for the races in Canada, Italy and Brazil to trial the sprint race format, which could then be permanently introduced for next season if there is a positive response.

Ferrari is behind the proposal. Team principal Mattia Binotto said: “We are obviously very engaged in the discussions with F1 and the FIA.

"We believe that changing for more spectacle and eventually for unpredictable races will be great. I think we are practical in discussions.

“We support a change because that change will somehow achieve the goals and the objectives I just mentioned.

“The discussion, at least for the moment, seems to be promising for a good output but still I think we need to look at all the details. Details will make a difference in this respect.

“The work has to continue and hopefully we will find a good solution.”

McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo has already suggested sprint races could devalue a grand prix victory, while Red Bull's Sergio Perez has expressed concerns that F1 would be taking a risk.

Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz both believe the idea should at least be trialled before determining whether or not to continue.

Describing the proposal as "quite interesting", Leclerc added: "I think it should be tried at least, then we need to understand how all of this will work with the points etcetera.

“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.

"I think this is the main point on my side but it might be interesting to try it at least to have shorter races where we can attack more. I would be happy to try it.”

Sainz, who joined Ferrari from McLaren over the winter, echoed the comments of his new team-mate and believes this season represents the appropriate time to test the water ahead of the wide-sweeping aerodynamic changes for next year.

"It is one of those things that until you get a first go at it you will never know exactly how it goes," said Sainz.

“I personally think it is super-important that the main race, the grand prix, doesn’t lose value.

"I think it is a bit dangerous that sometimes there can be two winners out of a grand prix weekend and we need to make sure that there is only one winner if we are going to do a double race.

“If there is a year that we should try it, I think it is 2021. With the future ahead, I think it is a good opportunity to try these kinds of things and see how it goes. Let’s see.”

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