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Ferrari team boss Binotto predicts new F1 sprint to create "some mess"

Ferrari team boss Binotto predicts new F1 sprint to create "some mess"

F1 News

Ferrari team boss Binotto predicts new F1 sprint to create "some mess"

Ferrari team boss Binotto predicts new F1 sprint to create "some mess"
Ian Parkes & Will Gray

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto believes the lack of preparation and experience on F1's new specification of tyre will lead to the potential for “some mess” when the sprint debuts in the British Grand Prix.

The Silverstone event will see the first of three proposed 25-30 minute, 100km sprint races this season, with the result determining Sunday’s starting grid and points being awarded to the top three finishers.

Binotto is concerned, however, Pirelli's new rear tyre construction, evaluated in Friday practice for the recent Austrian Grand Prix and to be introduced from the Silverstone weekend, will have an impact.

Given the change to the weekend, with traditional qualifying on Friday afternoon and only two practice sessions - on Friday and Saturday mornings - trying to understand the new tyres while also planning for the sprint will create issues.

“We should keep in mind we have a new tyre specification at Silverstone," remarked Binotto. "We tested it in Austria but most of the teams need again to have some experience on it and there will be very little time.

“We have only the Friday morning before going into quali, so going straight into that with a new spec, a new format, very little experience, that will really be exciting.

“But there may be some mess, because the set-up may not be optimised, so with a lack of experience on the tyres, we can have a great race weekend in that respect.”

Sainz – It could be a procession

Carlos Sainz feels the sprint may become a procession due to the fact that with the current crop of cars it is hard to overtake and with no strategy decisions to make a difference.

Sainz said: “We are having a meeting to discuss a bit the format and how we are going to approach this new concept of weekend, but yeah, 17 laps on a set of tyres should allow us to push a bit more and have a bit of fun.

“But you guys know the more we push, it is also difficult to overtake. It’s not a secret, so we will see how it pans out.”

While agreeing with Sainz on being able to at least push, Leclerc feels the decision to keep or ditch the format must be taken very seriously.

“Obviously it will be a bit more of a push and it might be interesting [but] as I’ve been saying many times, we need to be honest enough to know whether it added something to the weekend or not,” said Leclerc.

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