Some days ago F1 announced that they wanted to add sprint races to the qualifying session at three Grand Prix. The teams and Formula 1 did not decide yet, and now there is a new proposal by Bernie Ecclestone.
It is not easy to come to an agreement. Last year, when the idea was proposed, many people showed interest but that was it, nothing more. The interests in Formula One are too different.
The idea of starting the sprint race with the reverse order of the driver championship’ standing has failed due to a Mercedes veto. Mercedes drivers would have suffered a lot and it would not have been convenient for them, considering how competitive their car is. On the other hand, Red Bull liked the idea, and Helmut Marko also explained why: “Verstappen is the best at overtaking on the field.”
This year, Stefano Domenicali, the new Formula One boss, tried to reintroduce the idea. This time though, the format would be a little bit different: the starting grid would be determined by the qualifying session that would be run on Friday. Then, the sprint race on Saturday would also assign points to the drivers using the current points system. Finally, Sunday’ starting grid would be determined by how the sprint race finished.
However, smaller teams do not like this proposal. Haas Team Principal, Guenther Steiner, said: “Then the top teams get even more points, and the world champion is already determined in summer.”
Once again, Red Bull likes the idea, because they think they could benefit from it. Christian Horner, Red Bull team principal said that it would be easy to reject every idea. On the other hand though, if you never try something you never know it that could work. Finally, if it does not bring the desired success, we can still backtrack.
Moreover, Horner says that you can break the ground and still preserve the DNA of Formula 1. “DNA is important. But we also have to develop. Some of the races are boring. Sports fans have a large selection. You have to catch them somehow, and this is done with tight and open races in which the driver makes the difference.”
Finally, at the last meeting, all teams were open to an attempt, but they are still working on its implementation. Now, Bernie Ecclestone is proposing a new idea that combines both the first and seconds proposals.
First of all, Ecclestone said that this is not a new idea, but it was already discussed in the past, the main thing is “to do it right.”
Ecclestone’s approach is born of a concern: “People only watch the main race when there’s something else going on than the sprint. Why should the race on Sunday run differently than on Saturday when the result of the sprint is the main race grid? “
So here’s his suggestion: “You have to award points for the sprint race, and then turn the grid for the main race accordingly. If the winner of the sprint race gets 15 points, he has to hold back 15 starting places on Sunday. This is the only way to keep the tension high. My system makes both races exciting. Because on Saturday one or the other question asks: Should I win the sprint race but lose starting positions or is it better to be sixth in the sprint race and then start fourth in the main race. Besides, that would perhaps bring more points. So it would also be tacted a lot.”
Another positive thing for Ecclestone is that this idea would be an advantage for the smaller teams: “That would bring people to the front rows on Sunday who would otherwise never make it there. Your sponsors would get a lot more attention. It would be better entertainment. where everyone benefits.”