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Verstappen explains why he does not enjoy Sprint format

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - OCTOBER 30: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on October 30, 2022 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen admitted that he does not like the Sprint race weekend format.

Sprint races were introduced to Formula 1 last year. Three races were scheduled to take place in both 2021 and 2022, while in 2023 their number will be increased to six.

When asked about the increase in Sprint races, Verstappen said: “I don’t like it.

“For me, the weekend format [isn’t one that] I enjoy. I don’t mind the one practice and going straight into qualifying – I think it probably is even better for me.

“But there’s no feeling [in the Sprint races]. All the time when I do these races it’s all about, ‘Let’s not have damage, make sure that you stay in the top three’.

“And for me, that’s not really a race, because [then] you go into the main race. There are way more points available there anyway, and you just risk anyway a bit more there.

“You do another start, probably that’s a bit of excitement. It’s only people who are really out of position [that] will move forward because normally you put the tire on, which just lasts the whole Sprint anyway, [go] the race distance and not much happens.”

He added: “I think we should just stick to one race.

“I don’t understand what the problem is with that because I think we’ve had so many exciting races, so you don’t need to add one-third of the race distance.

“Everyone is super careful anyway because if you are fighting for third and you have a little touch and you drop back to be last, then your race on Sunday is going to be really tough.

“So [that means you’re] probably not going to risk it, and that’s not what a race should be about.”

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