Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Silverstone, 2021

Verstappen takes pole for British Grand Prix with sprint qualifying victory

2021 British Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen took pole position for the British Grand Prix after finishing first in the inaugural Sprint Qualifying race at Silverstone.

Verstappen passed Sprint Qualifying pole winner Lewis Hamilton on the run to turn one to take a lead that he never looked like surrendering. Hamilton will look to return the favour against his rival when he lines up alongside Verstappen on the front row in tomorrow’s race.

Valtteri Bottas will start third on the grid, ahead of Charles Leclerc and the two McLarens of Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo.

Hamilton lined up on the front of grid for the first ever sprint qualifying, alongside championship leader Verstappen, whose left-front brake disc was visibly aflame as he waited for the lights to come on. Valtteri Bottas was the only driver in the top ten to choose to race on soft tyres.

When the lights went out, Verstappen got the better getaway and took the lead into Abbey ahead of Bottas and Charles Leclerc. Hamilton tried to retake the lead around the outside of Copse corner, but was rebuffed.

Further back, Fernando Alonso moved up six places to fifth place having started on softs, while Carlos Sainz Jnr fell to the back of the field after contact with George Russell into Brooklands. At the rear of the field, Nikita Mazepin spun at Farm after bumping into Haas team mate Mick Schumacher.

On lap five, Sergio Perez spun his Red Bull on the exit of Becketts, skidding over the grass and only just keeping his car out of the tyre barriers. He was able to recover having dropped down to 19th place.

Lando Norris passed Alonso for fifth place by out-braking the Alpine driver into Farm on lap six. Alonso soon came under pressure from Daniel Ricciardo, with the second McLaren moving through into sixth on lap nine into The Loop.

The leading pair both suffered with visible graining on the right-front medium tyres, but were still able to remain comfortably ahead of third-placed Bottas on his soft tyres.

As the final lap began, Perez was told to retire his car, dooming him to start at the very back of the grid for tomorrow’s race.

Verstappen took the chequered flag to take pole position for tomorrow’s British Grand Prix and extend his lead by an additional point. Hamilton crossed the line around three seconds back, with Bottas another six seconds further behind.

Leclerc finished fourth ahead of Norris and Ricciardo, with Alonso holding on to take seventh on the grid. Sebastian Vettel took eighth on the grid, with George Russell in ninth to drop one spot from his initial qualifying position.

Esteban Ocon rounded out the top ten, with Carlos Sainz Jnr recovering from his early setback to claim 11th on the grid by the chequered flag.

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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100 comments on “Verstappen takes pole for British Grand Prix with sprint qualifying victory”

  1. That first lap from Fernando was something else.

    1. Yeah he’s always been really good at the starts especially since the refuelling ban. and the best part? he can do it all over again tomorrow from 7th!

      1. someone or something
        17th July 2021, 17:22

        He probably won’t, though. This strategy worked because the race was short enough. But don’t expect anyone to start on Soft tyres tomorrow, the extra grip on the opening laps ist just not worth becoming a sitting duck after 10-15 laps, and having to pit much earlier than everyone else.

        1. agree to an extent. but i dont think he needs softs to get a couple of places

      2. SM,
        He’s been impressive at the starts since his Renault days.

    2. @j-l Fantastic. Alonso at his best.

      The weaving not so nice. I hope this gets stamped out.

      1. the weaving to break the tow is ok, there was zero danger

        1. @maxv but it’s unsporting

        2. Exactly. Blew my mind that not even Brundle comprehended this. Why would he be blocking a third of the way down the straight?

      2. @balue
        He has given the McLaren drivers a taste of their own medicine. This year Ric and especially Norris were weaving quite often at races and warned about it by race control.

    3. Now it shows that it won’t be easy with him!

    4. His talk through it on the skypad was enlightening. He stated it was actually not great and very risky driving and he was actually hoping to get pushed wide more and complete overtakes off the track as a statement for all of it that has been happening lately. Just lucky that he didn’t have to.

      Not even sure if it was luck or everyone else feeling as though they didn’t need to defend as they’d get the places back soon enough, which they did, rather than risk the damage.

    5. Yep. Absolutely tantalising to watch in full. He still has it.

  2. Yawn, snoretastic. 30 minutes of my life I will never get back.

    Reply moderated
  3. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    17th July 2021, 17:11

    I didn’t think it was bad. I’m not sure it’s a format that should be used on every race but it’s certainly one to bring out for tracks that would benefit from it. Also though perhaps maybe more points on offer to try and promote more racing? Because what we got was good but at some point they’re going to back off and settle for what they have.

    1. @rocketpanda Yeah I feel the same way. Couple of times a year might keep it fresh and interesting. The only thing I dislike so far is that Max has the official pole position instead of Lewis, that just does not make sense. Lewis is such a complete driver but it seems that race starts might be the only chink in his armor.

    2. I think we must wait for tomorrow race before doing further comments. I mean, to then think about if the full weekend package improves or not. For example, we may be able to compare sprint first laps versus GP first laps and then think about how teams playing the long game (fuel consumption, tyre management, etc…) affect the GP quality.

  4. And after this the suspense for the race is near zero. The combo Max / Red Bull is faster.

    1. This is a good point. Although they will use other tyres tomorrow as well, and weather conditions might also be bit different, but this sprint “thing” can take the unknown, the expectations from the race.

      1. weather conditions might also be bit different

        It’s apparently going to be hotter tomorrow.

    2. why is that? hamilton has another chance to jump verstappen at the start, plus hamilton was always within around 2 seconds, closing a lot on the last lap. totally in undercut territory

      yes rb is faster but merc can make it work with strategy

      1. Hamilton was 3 seconds behind after 15 laps, which was when RBR gave Max the instruction to avoid the kerbs to protect the tyres as at that stage, the win was pretty much in hand.

        1. @maddme Exactly. And also because he knew the race was 17 laps and there was no danger of an undercut he could manage the gap to the end no problem. We don’t really know how much pace Max had in hand, although I would guess it is not that much or he would have held a more comfortable lead from earlier on.

    3. @jabr Absolutely not. Mercedes has a 10 kmh top speed advantage, so all they have to do is get ahead at the start and the race is done. They also have the strategic advantage with 2 cars. It will be difficult for Red Bull to win this.

      1. Hardly. If Max stays ahead at the start he’ll be outside of undercut range by the first stops based on his pace today.

        Unless Mercedes are significantly faster on the hards I think he’ll breeze this one

        1. @sparkyamg I said if Mercedes take the start. And by start I mean the first laps. Now Hamilton has had practice how to attack the first laps, and won’t be so desperate as today. Just wait to use the top speed on the straights.

          And now that you mention it, the hards should probably suit Mercedes better.

          It’s not a given by any means.

  5. As a general spectacle, it seemed fine – some good racing. But in many ways iit felt like F1 created an additional event to solve problems (maximum fuel, fragile tyres etc) which are of their own making.

    Reply moderated
  6. Decent racing, a decent start for this sprint experiment.
    The difference in starting fuel loads versus normal races was noticeable, especially on lap 1.
    DOTD: Alonso, although his defending was slightly questionable at times.
    Weird how Perez suddenly lost his car without any apparent reason. His start wasn’t great either. Hamilton’s was also poor.

    1. @jerejj Alonso’s start was stunning and a masterclass to those around, fully agree about he is DOTD, although, given Max started with his left front on fire, I would give him the Golden Balls Award (if it existed)…

      As I said yesterday, I put much of the the RBR ‘quali’ issue down to the dropping track temperature, this sprint race (glad they raced), really confirmed it.

  7. All this tells me is that the start of the Grand Prix would be more fun to watch if the cars were about 100kg lighter.
    So now we essentially have a 24h red flag. It all feels a little bit pointless to me, especially now all the suspense for the race is lifted. We know now what the race pace is like for the cars.

    I do like the wreath parade they are doing as I’m typing. They should just do that for the Grand Prix, perhaps before the podium ceremony.

    1. A wreath for qualifying? Borderline comical

    2. The parade thing was not worth it for TV viewers, but good for fans in attendance.
      Imagine doing this on a track like Spa. The interviewer will run out of questions to ask!

      1. Ahah, true, or the nordschleife, not sure if I wrote it right, but the old nurburgring with 167 turns!

  8. Miltiadis (@miltosgreekfan)
    17th July 2021, 17:19

    I wasn’t a big fan of it when i heard the news of it happening, but as always i wanted to see it in action.

    After watching today’s event I still have the same opinion. While this idea wasn’t hideous or something, the current qualifying system we have is that good that is difficult to be replaced. If we didn’t have Alonso heroics today, it would have been much less entertaining.

    In something else, Russell crashed with Sainz and ruined Sainz race. What would be an appropriate penalty for this one? A 3 place grid drop or a couple of places penalty?

    1. someone or something
      17th July 2021, 17:24

      Good point, I’ve asked myself the same question. I do wonder if they can apply a grid drop, though, or if they have to stick to race penalties, seeing as this session’s rules were basically copy-pasted from the race regulations.

      1. Miltiadis (@miltosgreekfan)
        17th July 2021, 17:38

        Yeah,i guess they’ll have limited options to what sort of penalty they can apply. I’m curious to see what their decision will be, as it’s a tricky decision to make.

    2. In something else, Russell crashed with Sainz and ruined Sainz race. What would be an appropriate penalty for this one? A 3 place grid drop or a couple of places penalty?

      @Miltiadis These incidents are usually given a pass on the opening lap. So past precedent would suggest no action, but it could just as well depend on who is in the stewards’ office today.

      1. Miltiadis (@miltosgreekfan)
        17th July 2021, 22:34

        @keithedin @jerejj It seems like stewards are about to get more harsh on first lap incidents as Russell took a 3 place drop for tomorrow’s race

  9. ‘especially now all the suspense for the race is lifted. We know now what the race pace is like for the cars’

    not necessarily. weather, heavier fuel loads etc play a key role. also merc can switch the strategy because they’re fast enough to stay within 2 ish seconds of max

  10. And again it’s two Mercs vs Max tmw.

    When will there finally be a teammate for Max that outqualifies the mercs?
    Is it really the RB being good or is it Max.

    In the Merc era 2014-2020 , we had so many front row lockouts. Which leaves competition with limited tactical options.

    1. When they can find someone good enough to take on Hamilton (and probable Russell), but subservient enough not to fight Max.

      1. You mean someone like Bottas then..

      2. Ricciardo? He’d try to take on verstappen but he should be better than perez, I know this year he was a bit lackluster, but judging by their past tenure at red bull he shouldn’t be as bad as perez is being lately.

    2. As soon as RB provides equal machinery to the second driver as well. I mean updates inclusive. It’s all one driver euphoria at RB now and I don’t see any one pointing out that

      Reply moderated
  11. I hated the idea but actually really liked this. It’s what the main race should be like, no over protecting tyres or fuel usage. Over 52 laps that Merc blistering front right maybe an issue, was their on friday FP1 not enough time to file it out before car setup finalised? Max cruised the last lap could have blown Merc out the water.

    Reply moderated
  12. Old Fernando still has a the skills!
    Did Mazespin spin? Yes he did.
    Disappointing drive from Perez yesterday and today.
    But a decent race all around even though hard to understand its purpose.
    The points system needs a relook.

  13. Appart from Alonso’s start (which would’ve happened in any race start, sprint or endurance) this was just a waste of half an hour.

    There’s little incentive once you realize trying to catch the car ahead is pointless. Once Lando moved ahead of Alonso, there was nothing in it for him other than to drive around until the flag.

    In any case, Alonso being out of position kept the Sprint from being very very boring and uneventful. And all it showed is that race starts are always exciting because the cars are all bunched up together. And that a flat out race will always be more exciting than drivers having to limit themselves to a certain speed because of tyre or fuel limitations.

    1. @fer-no65, Strange comment, “a waste of half an hour” or “more exciting than drivers having to limit themselves to certain speed because of tyre or fuel limitations”, will you waste more time watching the less exciting GP today?

  14. Not the worst, great off the line for a few laps… How about 3x 10 minute races instead of 1×30 minutes… The start is easily the most exciting part.

    Risk/reward was just not worth it strategically though. Who’s going to risk contact to start 7th instead of 8th, even if you have the faster car it would make more sense to get them in the real race safely and when it’s worth actual points.

    If anything, they should do it before qually with the order from FP1. i.e. FP1 > sprint > FP2 > qually > race. Use the results from Sprint to decide brackets for qually, rather than the knockout system which is causing issues when the track is too busy. That way every position would be worth something. That format would also remove the “just one longer race” parc ferme etc issues.

    I don’t know if that makes any sense and would probably lead to more complaining, but yeah, I wasn’t too keen as is tbh. Many of the predicted issues were spot on and the last half of the sprint was just totally unexciting, rarely seen F1 cars cruising so much.

    It just needs a rethink imo, not the worst idea in the world, but so many aspects of it are illogical.

    1. Sam (@undercut677)
      17th July 2021, 17:35

      The problem here is that the hardcore fans will complain for two contradictory reasons. Some will complain it is artificial and gimmicky and others will complain it wasnt exciting at all becauese it wsnt gimmicky enough. In a way this was more pure given the lack of starting tire req and pit stops. The start was great, several great battles in the middle and Checo losing it which confirms his bad form this weekend. Everything that happened made sense. I thought it was good.

      1. I don’t know, I guess I worded my post wrongly, it doesn’t need to be more gimmicky… It just needs a rethink.

        The premise as a whole is not bad, as the drivers and presenters have said, they liked that their was more action on the track and another session that’s not just practice. I agree with that too.

        It’s just the implementation of that race, the rules (parc ferme why) and where it sits in the flow of the weekend (ruining qually for the grand prix) and the reward structure. That’s what doesn’t sit well with me after seeing it in action.

        1. @skipgamer, I agree about parc ferme, we no longer have unlimited engines to change or rebuild between qually and the race let alone special “qually-only” engines. With limited engines and a cost-cap there is no longer any sensible reason to have parc-ferme.

    2. @skipgamer I think it’s too long as well. My proposal is 2 x 15 minute races, the second in reverse order from Friday qualifying. The final positions are then combined and divided by two to determine race grid order, with combined times used to separate any parities. It’s a way of including a reverse order (undoubtedly going to be filled with hard racing and overtakes) without penalizing those actually faster on a Friday (one lap) – though it does increase the jeopardy hugely.

  15. Omar R (@omarr-pepper)
    17th July 2021, 17:24

    Total Max fan, but this needs to go.

  16. Bad start by Lewis, even bottas almost passed him but let the number 1 driver live.
    The gap increased until max starter titel staving.

  17. Alonso. Mega Alonso. What a driver. Star of the day.

  18. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
    17th July 2021, 17:33

    So we are done with the first of this farcical format. As Ferrari pointed out, it is a 400 km race with a red flag period in between. Kinda takes away the suspense about race pace and how the cars are performing at a particular temp. Still prefer the 3 part qualifying which was way more exciting than this. All that celebration by the ‘pole sitter’ was for nothing.

    A few things I didn’t like were calling the winner of qualifying ‘Speed King’, those humongous imaginary billboards showing gladiator like images of drivers and the gaps between them, and driver names on top of cars giving it the appearance of a game. The less I say about AWS graphics, the better.

    The ‘Speed King’ of Friday qualifying starts the race from P2 behind the pole sitter from Saturday’s Sprint Qualifying Race which is not a race. Read this out loud.

    I can see this being pushed by Liberty because it makes all 3 days highly profitable, and very soon we’ll have reverse grids too so that the ‘gladiators can battle their way through the battleground armed with flappable wings.’

    Hopefully someone grows a pair stops this rut.

    1. Spot on.

      What next? Do we now set the grid for the 24h Le Mans by having a 6 hours race first, or decide the grid for the Indy 500 by having an ‘Indy 150’?


      You set the grid by speed. Man and machine against the clock.

      Then you race.

  19. Great job by Max, once again faster off the line than Lewis, who started terribly, and more assertive in the first corners. I still think Hamilton needs to recalibrate his risk taking, it’s almost a given Verstappen can fend him off. But Perez?? How on earth does someone driving for Red Bull spin off track like that way? That seriously dents any Red Bull advantage for the race. Bottas cleared backed off Hamilton at the start with the faster tyres and better getaway. The race (or part two of the race) seems likely to be down to track temperature more than anything. Mercedes should have the advantage with two cars up front.

  20. The sprint race was much about ntn. They should have all only used the softest tyres. So that tyre deg came into play sooner. Just when tyre deg became an issue the race was over. Except for the 1st lap and few over takes it was not all that. The idea is good. They need to tweek it though.

    Reply moderated
  21. So…. We have had the first Sprint Qualification.

    The question begs was it any good.

    The drivers raced each other, absolute bonus – as with many people, I was concern that this could have been very follow my leader, with little overtaking and very protective of car and power unit.

    The drivers appear to have enjoyed it – bonus…

    I know it’s only a trial, but, the Silverstone Sprint at 17 laps is approximately 1/3rd full race distance, if this is bought in as a qualification event, will the teams be allowed additional Power Units (and cost coverage) to allow for the additional race distance (over the course of a 21 race season it is the equivalent of 7 additional races).

  22. This could only work as an occasional “special race week end” – but at that point, why not make it TWO proper races over the week end, allowing an extra PU?

    As it stands, this “sprint race” was pretty much off-brand cola: looks like the real thing but it doesn’t really taste the same. You’re watching a race, but it’s not really a race – and yes, it definitely DOES lessen the anticipation for tomorrow’s race as we now know pretty much exactly how the first part of the race, before the pitstops, will unfold…unless it rains. Those who say “but but but…fuel load! different tires!” are just wishful thinking: every team will take all the data from today, send it back to HQ, crunch it tirelessly overnight and come back tomorrow with the perfect strategies…all of which will cancel one another since they’ve all been calculated using the same methodologies and software.

    Hot lap qualifying has allowed, since 1950, for some drivers to shine even when they didn’t have the best car – think Leclers recently, think Montoya against the unbeatable Ferrari of the early 2000s and, most legendarily, Ayrton Senna regularly sticking his barely competitive Lotus on pole. A “qualifying race” relies on something untowards to happen, to get a result that isn’t the order of which cars rank to one another, and I have the distinctive feeling the whole idea revolves around the chance that a couple of the leaders might clash and have to start from the back.

    Reply moderated
  23. That did nothing for me.

    Apart from the opening lap, which delivered the same thing you would get in the GP anyway, from lap 10 onwards there was nothing going on and everyone was winding down to save thier cars for Sunday.

    Worst of all, it completely ruined the tension, drama, and excitement we had yesterday with Lewis getting what I will consider to be the ‘true’ pole position.

    All that flushed down the toilet for a cheap gimmick designed to appeal to an audience that doesn’t exist anyway.

    Another FAILURE for Formula One.

    Ditch it now.

    1. They should do it now. They should also ditch Reverse Grid talks.

    2. Alas, the only criterion which is important for Liberty and their minions is creating as much commercial time as possible.

  24. Flames gave him power!

    1. Hé solved the front titel heating problem.

      1. What’s that acute doing?

  25. “Traditional” F1 viewers complaining about getting a flat out race without gimmicks. The irony.

    1. The race itself was a gimmick which is even worse.

      And many ‘traditional’ fans understand that car/tire/pace management is a part of the sport, Always has been & always will be.

      The great Juan Manuel Fangio once said something to the effect of ‘The object of a Grand Prix is to win at the slowest possible speed’, A line that has been repeated by many greats such as Clark, Stewart, Lauda & Prost.

      F1 never was & never has been a sprint, That is the alien gimmick been forced upon the sport by low attention span younger fans who have zero knowledge of the history of the sport & don’t care about it enough to learn.

      1. What next? Do we now set the grid for the 24h Le Mans by having a 6 hours race first, or decide the grid for the Indy 500 by having an ‘Indy 150’?


        You set the grid by speed. Man and machine against the clock.

        Then you race.

    2. It was a qualifying session, not a race. This is the problem. Call it a race and give proper points to finishers.

      1. Should give max 8 points, it lasts 1\3.

    3. I think the fans are angry because it’s nomenclature is qualifying and not race.

      If we had said that this sprint was race part 1 and tomorrow is race part 2. Technically, then we would not have touched qualifying (which is good as it is). And the race would have got at least one flag out element in it instead of strategy and tyre preservation. And of course we have a weird element of points being awarded on lap 17 of a 69 lap 2 day race.

  26. Change is supposed to make a product better. For me, this was New Coke.

    1. @velocityboy I’m not sure what to make of this comment, there are two possible interpretations. Do you know that the New Coke was preferred over the classic in blind tests? It was a commercial flop because it wasn’t what people were used to. If your comment wasn’t in this vein, it would actually make it hilariously ironic. (Don’t mean to offend, I just find it amusing if that’s the case)

      1. And ofc the tests need to be blind, lots of people claim to recognize which is better and then they don’t, my father claims to recognize when it’s bottas and hamilton driving, I let him try covering the names on a 1 tenth difference, and didn’t manage.

      2. @j-l the pop culture narrative is that “New Coke was preferred over the classic in blind tests”, but it is worth noting that is probably an overly simplistic and likely inaccurate narrative.

        Saying “well, the tests showed that was more popular” raises the question “is the test really giving a representative result, or is the test being intentionally or unintentionally biased to give a particular result”. In the example you give, whilst that may be what the tests seemed to suggest, it is worth noting that there were issues raised about the methodology that suggested the tests were giving skewed results.

        For example, when preparing the samples, it was noted that a number of the tests used an unrepresentative sample size, which was much smaller than a full sized can or bottle. If the sample was small, that pushed the participants towards preferring a sweeter and more intense flavour – however, if you then increased the volume of the sample, then people started to be less enthusiastic about that new flavour as they found it a bit too overpowering.

        Other aspects about the way in which the tests were run meant that the participants could have unintentionally been given implicit cues that suggested they should give a particular response, again potentially skewing the results (such as the way in which the questions were phrased – it is worth noting that they didn’t ask participants to directly compare the taste of the two products, but rather had to imply that question).

        In this case, the comparison may be more apt than you think, because there is probably a similar issue here – with Liberty Media seemingly very keen to present this as a success, the question will be whether their way of assessing the impact might be biased by the desire to prove a particular hypothesis and could be biased due to unrepresentative sampling.

        1. Wow, thanks for this reply, this makes me want to dig into this story even more. Do you have any suggestions where to look? I thought I was cool with my answer, but you showed me haha. I had no idea about the tinkering with samples or suggestive phrasing of questions.

          And you’re right, this would probably make it a pretty apt comparison on many different levels.

  27. Lewis Hamilton took pole, Max Verstappen won the sprint.

    There needs to be an asterix next to this ‘non pole’ in the records books to show this.

    1. You could also put an asterisk on leclerc (?)’s pole in mexico 2019 when verstappen got best time but penalized etc.

  28. I liked it. In most races the first and last thirds are the most entertaining, with the middle third being mostly management and frankly often dull. Here we get to see an exciting all out race, with drivers taking risks and running flat out

    Tomorrow it will be more strategic, finding ways to overcome some of the weaknesses that were visible today (eg. blistering). That, coupled with Checo’s mistake, means that Max is going to have to work extra hard to keep Lewis and Valtari off his back

    I fully believe that it’s going to be a nail biter tomorrow

    I don’t think that doing a sprint every weekend will be necessary, can’t see it working at Monaco for example, but for some tracks it’ll be good

  29. It was great to see Hamilton so hungry all over a strongly-resolved Verstappen!

    Oh, and I’m keen to see where are the Pressure-cracked Busters to throw Perez under the bus after his vettelesque moment today. Totally clumsy.

  30. Ok, several objections.

    – the value and importance of qualifying as probably the strongest highlight of the weekend got unelievably diminished. There’s a very little value in the “real pole position” or any other place as you can lose it in a glance even before the race starts. And qualifying in the 2006 onwards format, just to remind you, has been providing us with stable and fair share of excitement that’s been based on merit, not some artificial entertainment.

    – oversaturation. Talking only from the personal point of view, but knowing we’re in for 23 race long calendar, I’m already quite bored by the summer part of the season. Adding another miniraces in between and creating some kind of hybrid calendar with 30+ racing actions in different forms takes away the exclusiveness, distorts the season further to the benefit of the strongest and, I dare say, confuses the newer audience with it’s more complicated structure. But Liberty probably counts on this and the most important thing for them is to have the highest possible number of casual viewers over which they can later youknowwhat with their viewership statistics.

    In my ideal world, the calendar would be 17 – 19 races long, there would be a lot of (limited) testing throughout the season, it would start in March and end in October. Additionally, there wold be e a special non-championship race around the first half of January, ideally in extreme conditions (race in Scandinavia or Canada) so we could see how the teams tackle a completely different challenge for the entertainemt of the fans during the winter break. I can dream.

    1. @pironitheprovocateur The points given for the sprint race really highlight one of the problems. Qualifying for pole has never been about some extra points but about the kudos of setting fastest qualifying lap. Not rewarding fastest lap on a Friday with either any points or recognition of setting pole (albeit for the sprint race) really degrades Friday qualifying while the 3, 2, 1 points for the sprint race just seems like dishing out extra points to the two fastest teams, further separating them from the rest.

      1. Completely agree.

    2. @pironitheprovocateur, A large part of the reason for this non-race race is to provide value for the promoters, helping them to sell more 3 day tickets, F1 cannot expect tracks to run F1 at a huge financial loss forever.

  31. Honestly, I didn’t hate watching the sprint race as it did have some action and we did see some split strategies create a bit of excitement. It also demonstrated that F1 cars can be a bit more racey on low fuel. Lessons can be learned there, especially with regards to the Q3 tyre rule.

    But does that make up for the fact it has ruined the importance of traditional qualifying and also spoiled aspects of the Grand Prix tomorrow? No.

    Given F1’s tendancy to ask questions that generate the answers they want (if you took their survey regarding reverse grids last year you’ll know what I mean), I suspect that even if we fans do get a chance to have our say it won’t be given fair judgement anyway. After all, F1 has been trying to push this through for a long time and has even attracted new sponsors for the sprint event.

    I feel like the only way I can possibly express how strongly I am against this new format in a way that might be noticed (perhaps, if enough of us did the same) is to not tune in tomorrow. Which is a shame as I’m UK based, without a Sky Subscription so it’s the only race I’d have been able to watch live.

    In fact, after writing this I wish I hadn’t watched the sprint either.

    1. @sparkyamg I definitely fear that this short lived and contrived nonsense has made tomorrows race less viable.
      It was a quick hit that makes the main course taste bland.

  32. So Hamilton’s great lap yesterday has been rendered completely useless as the cars shuffled themselves into their “natural” positions early in the race. Then a procession to the finish.

    Exactly what was predicted, then.

    1. @red-andy It wasn’t a great lap, he had much more speed in the bag, but messed that lap up too. He got saved by Red Bull not factoring in the temperature drop. As for natural positions, Mercedes with a good start would have stayed ahead and solidified their good qualifying speed. Everything is still out of position.

      1. Agree, mercedes was faster over 1 lap and for the early part of the race.

  33. I think the Sprint race and the whole idea was pretty good but i want a change. The normal qualifying on Friday must decide the Sunday race and the Sprint race will give only the points. As how they will start the Sprint race, Fp2 result will decide the order.

    1. That would probably better, although gives probably even less reason to race for people down in 6th-lower, even hoping for retirements seems unrealistic when you’re so far back, so no points.

      1. You are right on this. I haven’t thought this, maybe a sum of qual and something else for position on Sunday race.

        My point is that Sprint race suddenly can ruin a guy because it’s very risky. You saw what happened to Perez? In normal qual session with the exact same spin and Perez would had in qual another try to find his real speed place in Sunday.
        In the other way, Sprint Qual can give an unpredicted result so its not that bad because we will have a good car and driver fighting to come up in the race. Imagine if in Perez place was max or Hamilton.

  34. I liked the all out driving in the sprint race. Now it feels like they can scrap Sunday because we already had a mini Grand Prix. I can totally live without it and rate it a 5.5 Glad it is only 3 times this year and not more. Sure understand why some people love it and other people dislike it.

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