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Wolff warns F1 to be cautious with sprint race experiment

Wolff warns F1 to be cautious with sprint race experiment

F1 News

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Wolff warns F1 to be cautious with sprint race experiment

Wolff warns F1 to be cautious with sprint race experiment

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has urged Formula 1 to tread carefully with its plans to trial sprint races despite reiterating his support.

F1 is expected to announce its finalised plans to hold sprint races at three races this year imminently after removing the final stumbling block by agreeing a financial deal with teams.

The proposal would see a regular qualifying session replace practice two on Friday with a sprint race, the grid of which to be set by Friday qualifying, filling the vacant Saturday session to decide the grid for the grand prix itself.

Although greeted with positive noises from the paddock, Wolff warned F1 to be "very careful" in how it moves forward with the changes.

"We are in a data-driven world," he said. "We simulate, and here we are talking about going live with something that hasn’t been simulated properly.

"So, I don’t think we want to block anything – it’s worth the experiment – but we need to be very careful with it, with the format that we have and with the responsibility we carry for Formula 1."

Wolff was highly critical of an earlier venture from Liberty Media to introduce reverse grid sprint races but has been supportive of trialing a format that retains the meritocracy "where best man and best machine wins."

He added: "I think probably we share the mindset that we are racing purists and we know of the importance of the grand prix.

"It’s always been like that and we mustn’t dilute the attraction of that singular event happening Sunday afternoon as somehow a cornerstone of everybody’s weekend.

"Now, we have always been very reluctant to change that traditional format and I have seen some experiments in other race series where they have put in a second race on Saturday and the audiences were actually quite interested.

"Having said that, it by far didn’t have the importance and tradition like Formula 1, so we need to be really careful of how we are testing things."

What do you think?
Tony

Don't introduce gimics, practice sessions are finding out what works and doesn't on the cars not for mini races

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Tony
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Apr 2021
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Tony

Don't introduce gimics, practice sessions are finding out what works and doesn't on the cars not for mini races

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