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The answer to F1's sprint race woes despite exciting Brazil dash

The answer to F1's sprint race woes despite exciting Brazil dash

F1 News

The answer to F1's sprint race woes despite exciting Brazil dash

The answer to F1's sprint race woes despite exciting Brazil dash

A lot has been said about the concept of sprint races in F1, especially after the borefest at the United States Grand Prix.

The classic Interlagos circuit in Brazil did offer up a more enthralling product but it is more the brilliance of the track layout rather than the format which helped its cause.

Fans and drivers alike want a change to the current format, which sees the Saturday of a race weekend become a "sprint day" with the shootout followed by the 1/3-distance event itself.

GPFans takes a look at the possible changes F1 could make to truly maximise the sprint race format moving forward.

Max Verstappen won four of the six sprint races in 2023 after taking victory in Sao Paulo
However, drivers and viewers alike are keen for the format to be changed

Shout it from the rooftops: REVERSE GRIDS

We all want to see it, if we're honest.

The thought of Max Verstappen having to come from dead last in such a short space of time would surely see overtaking at almost every corner of the race, no matter where it's held (except Monaco, of course).

If F1 wants to put on a show, it wouldn't let the fastest driver and car combination start from the front and clear off into the distance. If you reverse the whole drivers' standings and bin off sprint qualifying, you maximise the fun for the race itself.

Of course, that could see the top teams complain that they would lose points in the championship if the current points format were to remain.

That's why you have separate standings for the sprint alone and give points from first all the way down to the last finisher, ranging from 20 to 1 if every car reaches the chequered flag.

All F1 would need to do then is offer a cash incentive to the drivers for this sprint championship and perhaps a little more wind tunnel time for the teams to make it properly matter to everyone.

If all of the above were implemented, you could even say the sprint would happen at every race of the season which would give teams an extra Friday practice session and leave qualifying on Saturday, where it should always be.

F1 could take inspiration from other motorsports, such as IndyCar, to improve the product

Change qualifying

F1 might not want to make such drastic changes, especially from one season to the next, so what else could they do?

A different format of qualifying is perhaps one way they could at least experiment, rather than slightly shortening the usual format and forcing different tyres.

One option might be a one-lap blast where the cars go one-by-one, in reverse qualifying order, which has worked as a spectacle to great effect at the Indy 500 and Bathurst 1000 elsewhere in the motorsport world.

F1 could also trial something similar to Formula E's knockout system, although the amount of tyres teams would get through might not please Pirelli all that much.

The most left-field possibility could be similar to the Indy 500 where drivers have to do a qualifying run over several laps, which would test outright speed as well as a bit of tyre-saving and battery strategy.

Whatever F1 decides, the current sprint format cannot remain unchanged in 2024 if the powers that be want to keep the majority of fans, teams and drivers onside.

Lando Norris took pole for the sprint in Interlagos but lost the lead at turn one

READ MORE: F1 teams discussing possible rule change after Hamilton disqualification

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