McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown has added an extra dimension to the conversation surrounding the 'pole winner' on a sprint weekend by comparing the debate to a baseball statistic.
In 1962, Baseball in the United States expanded from a 154 game season, which had more often than not been the format since 1892, to a 162 game schedule.
With pole for the British Grand Prix officially awarded to the winner of the sprint, Max Verstappen, and not the fastest man over one lap on Friday, Lewis Hamilton, Brown compared the debate over who should be credited to the with the most home runs over a season of baseball given the format shift.
“Whether pole should be who wins or who set the fastest time on Friday, I think that is a personal opinion," he said. "But all other sports have changed themselves over time.
"Baseball, which I am a big fan of, has gone from 154 games to 162 games, then when you have who has the most home runs in a season, there is always the debate on was it out of the 162 games or a 154 game season.
"I think that is sport and you’re never going to get a unanimous view of what the right answer is there.
“So far I like what I have seen because it has created conversation.”
Friday now an F1 talking point
Part of the thinking behind the format shift in F1 was to ensure that each of the three days has a headline event, be it qualifying, sprint or the race itself.
The success of this, believes Brown, cannot be doubted.
He explained: “I think what has worked well is it has got people talking about the weekend and the format. Ultimately, that drives interest.
"Whether people are pro what they are seeing or not, it has created a conversation. It gave people a reason to tune in on Friday when maybe they would not have."
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