Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes F1’s new Sprint Qualifying races could bring “something quite interesting” to race weekends and wants the championship to take the idea further.
“I’m happy to support the promoters to give it a go, because I think if we don’t try something different, how do you know if it’s any better or not?,” Horner told Sky.
“Part of me thinks a grand prix has a classic qualifying and a race element to it, but then this could bring something extra. And I think if it’s not on every single race, then it could be something quite interesting.”
Each Sprint Qualifying race, which will be held on Saturdays at the British, Italian and one other grand prix, will award three points to the winner. Horner suggested the idea could be taken further, by awarding more points for Sprint Qualifying, incorporating reverse grids and introducing a bonus point for pole position.
He drew parallels with the point introduced for the fastest race lap on 2019, which he believes had a positive impact on the sport. “We campaigned very heavily for that and I think that’s a positive,” Horner explained.
“I’d even go for a point for pole position, because that has a value. I think with Sprint Qualifying, we’ve got to give it a go and that’s why we’ve agreed to go with it. Maybe more can be done with it in the future. Because the points are a critical element as well, maybe put more emphasis on the points on that race and maybe then then reverse that grid.”
Horner’s enthusiasm has been echoed by a number of drivers, including George Russell, who said he was “excited” by the new Sprint Qualifying concept.
“I think it’s exciting, to be honest,” said Russell.
“I think the change would just bring a bit more excitement. It brings three days of proper action, as obviously not a lot of people are interested in practice on a Friday, so qualifying on a Friday, Sprint Qualifying on a Saturday before the main event on Sunday, I think it’s an interesting concept.
“I think we’ve got to give it a chance and see how we get on. But I think I’m excited for it. And if it brings action, if it brings excitement, then that’s in the best interest for everybody.”
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