Nikita Mazepin, Haas, Silverstone, 2021

F2-style reverse grid sprint races not realistic for F1 – Mazepin

2021 British Grand Prix

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Formula 1’s new sprint qualifying event reminds Nikita Mazepin of the similar format he experienced in Formula 2 last year, with one key difference.

Unlike in F2, F1 will not reverse the starting order of any of its cars. But Mazepin doesn’t think that’s a realistic option for the world championship.

“It feels a little bit like F2 where I came from,” said Mazepin. “I have great memories from F2 last year when I won my first race. So actually the weekend feels very similar.”

Formula 2 drivers only have 45 minutes of free practice and their qualifying sessions are often scheduled after F1 has finished running for the day. But F1 used a similar Friday timetable this weekend.

“The free practice was slightly longer, but now we’re into qualifying and it’s the evening session,” said Mazepin. “So loads of similarities and I have to say that I really like this environment.”

“But you have to remember that here it’s a little bit different because we don’t get the top 10 reversed like we do in Formula 2,” he added. “Maybe that is something that F1 could consider as well. But I don’t think it’s realistic.”

F1 is only awarding points to the top three finishers in today’s sprint qualifying race, while the top eight score in F2’s sprint races. “It’s slightly two different approaches there because you also get a lot less points [in sprint qualifying],” said Mazepin.

However Mazepin’s fellow F2 graduate Yuki Tsunoda was disappointed by the reduction in practice compared to normal F1 race weekends.

“It’s a bit of a downside that we have only one free practice that have to nail [everything] car set-up-wise or whatever in free practice one and after we can’t change

“It’s a good thing that we have a big event with the qualifying and the sprint qualifying race each each day.”

F1’s three rookies – Mazepin, Tsunoda and Mick Schumacher – were eliminated in Q1 yesterday, in the session that decided the grid for sprint qualifying. Tsunoda blamed being delayed at the weighbridge and encountering traffic as a result.

The AlphaTauri driver is doubtful today’s race will offer many opportunities to recover positions. “I don’t know, I don’t think it’s going to be an overtake show because it’s going to be a DRS train, 17 laps.

“So it’s going to be difficult, but we’ll see what’s going to happen. I’ll just try to push as much as possible.”

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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8 comments on “F2-style reverse grid sprint races not realistic for F1 – Mazepin”

  1. We’ve gone from the Trulli Trains to the DRS train.

    Great upgrade…….. NOT!

    I’d rather a Trulli train than a DRS train as at least then any overtaking we did see was exciting, memorable & actually based on driver skill rather than pushing a button to open a silly flappy letterbox wing gimmick.

    #BanDRS! #NoToFlappyWings #DumbRacingSystem #WeWantRealOvertaking! #HighwayPassesAreBoring #FansAgainstGimmicks!!!! #BanTheFlappyFlap #LetterboxesOffF1Cars

    1. RandomMallard (@)
      17th July 2021, 14:15

      #SayNoToHashtags #TheyHaveNoEffectOnHere #WhatsThePoint

      1. RandomMallard (@)
        17th July 2021, 14:17

        This isn’t Twitter. And that’s a good thing. At least on here people can disagree but do it (with exceptions on the very extreme ends of the scale, no names mentioned) in a civilised manner most of the time.

        1. He just can’t take a chill pill over hashtags.

    2. I’d rather see fairly done decisions than very dangerous incidents. Also chill out with the hashtags, you made me use hashtags!

  2. No doubt Mazepin would prefer a reverse grid.

    1. I don’t think a reverse grid would flatter Mazespin. He’d start first and finish last, so the net result would be worse than starting and finishing last.

    2. I get that one!

Comments are closed.