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Williams reveal sprint race points dilemma

Williams reveal sprint race points dilemma

F1 News

Williams reveal sprint race points dilemma

Williams reveal sprint race points dilemma

Williams team principal Simon Roberts has revealed that Formula 1 and the teams are yet to agree on a number of key issues on sprint races, including a 'key parameter' regarding points.

While Roberts has described the idea of sprint races as "cool" and the concept "easy", naturally, nailing down the detail as to how they will work and the rules that would have to be applied is a very different matter.

Roberts has confirmed that one of the key areas under discussion relates to points, ensuring that with a one-third distance race the interest is high throughout the field.

At present, F1 is poised to trial sprint races at this year's Canadian, Italian and Brazilian Grands Prix as it seeks to spice up a race weekend.

Assessing the points issue, Roberts said: "The points situation for sprint races is one of those key parameters that need to be agreed. There are pros and cons. There are some really, really good ideas on the table.

"We've modelled it...I guess all the teams have, you predict your performance on your model, and there's not really a huge amount in it for us either way.

"That's where you have to take a philosophical view of the sport. You've got to maintain what Formula 1 racing is all about. The grand prix, as a race, is really, really important.

"So it's getting that balance right, making a sprint race exciting, giving the drivers something to fight for. You want people fighting all the way down. You don't want people giving up because there are no points available.

"On the other hand, that's not the premier race. The premier race is on a Sunday, and we've got to maintain that spirit.

"I don't know the answer, unfortunately, but that's one of the things that's being discussed, with some pretty wise people looking at that, and I'm sure we'll sort it out."

Roberts has confirmed there is broad support for the introduction of sprint races which would replace qualifying on Saturday, with the result determining the grid for Sunday's grand prix. Qualifying for a sprint race would replace second practice on Friday.

Roberts feels that this season is the ideal time to try something new given that F1 is "not expecting massive shifts in the pecking order".

But it all comes down to the detail such as "how do you actually run the weekend, how do you use the tyres, what can you do, what can't you do, when does parc fermé start, what does parc fermé really mean?'

"Everyone has a slightly different interpretation on how to do different things. But I'm pretty sure we'll get to a sensible and workable set of rules, and we'll try it and see.

"I think it's being done in a very open-minded way - let's try it and if it doesn't work then we'll do something else. It's good that the sport is even thinking about these things."

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