Start, sprint race, Monza, 2021

Rate the race: 2021 Italian Grand Prix Sprint Qualifying

2021 Italian Grand Prix

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What did you think of today’s Sprint Qualifying event? Share your verdict on the Italian Grand Prix Sprint Qualifying race.

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Rate the 2021 Italian Grand Prix sprint qualifying race out of 10

  • 10 (2%)
  • 9 (1%)
  • 8 (1%)
  • 7 (7%)
  • 6 (11%)
  • 5 (6%)
  • 4 (9%)
  • 3 (15%)
  • 2 (14%)
  • 1 (35%)

Total Voters: 182

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1 = ‘Terrible’, 10 = ‘Perfect’

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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109 comments on “Rate the race: 2021 Italian Grand Prix Sprint Qualifying”

  1. Once again:

    What’s the point!!!

    1. Yep. They tried it out. It hasn’t worked. No more of this please.

    2. Useless. We had one race start now we have 2 race starts.

      1. Well the race start is often the only interesting part of the race and now we have two without having to watch a huge number of laps of nothing.

    3. That the question I was asking myself throughout the 18 laps of something.

    4. there really is no point to be honest

    5. Once again: Money!

    6. I mean, it’s not like I hate sprint races, both have been fine, but yeah, it’s completely pointless and uninteresting.

      I know Brawn and the rest of his FOM colleagues are hell bent on continuing this next year, but I really don’t see why unless it’s somehow doing massive tv numbers compared to qualifying, which I very much doubt as it’s half as long and only 10% as interesting as that.

      1. Continuing this year and next.
        Most worthless waste of time ever

  2. Take away the start, and it’s just a waiting game until the sprint finishes… Why would, for example, Hamilton fight as hard as possible, if he knows the benefit is virtually none? Why would Verstappen make an effort to catch Bottas if he knows tomorrow he starts first anyway?

    Why do we bother?!! and they are trying to expand on this… it’s just madness…

    1. Not very good points. The ramifications of Hamilton starting 4th are important for the championship. Max also left a point on the board in the sprint. If they could, they would have moved up.

      1. still no point to the spring race. it’s like, what if they handed one point for the fastest times for each of the three practice sessions? the ramifications would still be there, and it would still be pointless

      2. If they could easily, sure, they would’ve gone for the point. But there’s no reason to risk starting at the back tomorrow for a single point, especially when you’re only real competitor is behind you.

        For Lewis, yes, there is more reason to take a risk, but he simply couldn’t so there’s that, but also for him it’s better to start 4th instead of taking a big risk to start a place higher.

        1. Absolutely, I completely agree with the no risk approach, for both.

  3. No one crashed into Gasly, it was a dumb unforced error. Hamilton also is responsible for a terrible start. Hard to claim that their changes in start position are not guaranted.

  4. Poor. Lewis in particular was very disappointing. You’ve thrown away a big opportunity AGAIN Lewis. Still… we win together and lose together. Max clearly been the better driver this year.

    1. I have to agree, hopefully the race will bring some more overtakes…

  5. I vote “garbage.”

    And this whole idea is, not just this specific instance.

    1. +1
      I thought Silverstone was OK, but honestly that was just novelty value.
      Now the format is known, and the procedures ironed out by the teams, the only real chance for excitement is someone losing out badly.
      And I don’t think any real fan wants to see that.

      Then again, it isn’t real fans they’re trying to attract with this nonsense.

  6. I mean, Lewis has been incredibly lucky all season, but he wasn’t here. Interesting.

    Also, Latifi outqualified Russell!

    1. Luck is one thing but this was just poor performance. poor start and cant beat a mclaren on an easy to overtake track. With bottas released from his contract lewis is going to struggle to beat him from now.

      1. @f1fan-2000 Monza is not an “easy to overtake track”, particularly if the car you’re following has good traction out of corners and straight line speed, as the McLaren does

        1. Yeah it’s odd, Monza is almost Hungary now.

    2. Latifi out qualifying Russell is just another reason the Sprint Quali is a stupid idea.

    3. @hahostolze He was lucky. 2 of the cars in front of him gone. He might have started 6th otherwise. Even lucky not getting damage in the T1 sandwich really.

  7. Well, nothing really happened.
    Which is exactly what I was hoping for!

  8. As boring as the first one. Couple of incidents on the first lap, then a snoozefest for the rest of the race…

  9. What a joke of a format this is.

    I ashamedly admit after the first one I thought perhaps it could work, and it isn’t that bad, but after seeing the weekend unfold a second time… wow, just a joke really. Just nothing of the format makes any sense.

    1. That is what I said, I gave it the benefit of the doubt in the first race (rated 5 myself, 50% of people voted 5 or less) but I said: again like this isn’t gonna work, and here we go again, I rated this one 6 cause there were some cars out of positions like perez or hamilton and it gave some interesting battles, but this time 50% of people voted 1 or 2 and 78% voted 5 or less, which is a significantly worse return ofc.

  10. Just make it 5 laps. Boring except for Lewis’ major screw up at the start.

  11. OK, slightly worse than Silverstone equivalent.

  12. having a race to determine the grid for the race is just such an intrinsically stupid idea. So frustrating.

    1. We liked it … but then we like NFL. Go figger, huh?

  13. Really not a fan of these sprints. And it’s not just the sprint race but this entire sprint weekend format just falls completely flat for me.

    I said yesterday what I didn’t like about how it affects FP1 & what I don’t like about Friday qualifying & again like in Silverstone FP2 felt completely pointless given how they were in parc-ferme & the sprint race itself not only fell flat but also takes away from my excitement going into the GP as we’ve seen a full race build-up & race start as well as how difficult overtaking is around here. It’s also taken away a lot of the unknowns regarding car race performance.

    There is honestly nothing about the sprit weekend or sprint race itself that I can say I like.

  14. After Belgium and now this we should really consider having 0 as an option.

    1. i wanted a minus but 0 will do

    2. I think 1 is good enough, every time there’s some scandal such as canada 2019 penalty, silverstone 2021 insignificant penalty and so on there’s a massive of 1 voted, and the same applies here, if you see a race gets voted 1 by 1\3 you know something wrong happened.

      1. Massive amount*

  15. Apart from the start, meh. Just waiting for it to end.

  16. 2 or 3 laps out of 18 were good, so it’s hard to give a passing grade.

  17. If I focus on the positive: every driver has something to fight for all along the grid. I like that.
    Sooo… now ditch the sprint and just make a good points spread rewarding points up to last place.

  18. Too short — I would hate to have paid to see half as much track action as regular qualifying.
    No suspense. In spite of the lulls in the regular qualifying, which are attributable to the short lap, each of the three sessions ends in a certain level of suspense.

  19. Another boring sprint race, seriously, what’s the point if, 1, it devalues the qualifying because it now defines the grid for the sprint race, and the results of the sprint race determines the grid for the race, and only the top 3 scores points in the sprint race?

  20. In my opinion the problem is not the sprint race. The problem is the cars, they are very difficulty to overtake. If not even Hamilton, with a car much better to Mclaren, on a track considered to be easy to overtake, managed to pass… imagine the level of turbulence that these cars produce. So if you’re complaining about the sprint race, in the main race tomorrow just expect emotion at the pit stop, other than that the difficulty of overtaking is very great, even in Monza.

    Hamilton will have a great work tomorrow to overtake the Mclaren if he make a bad start like today.

  21. 0/10.

    Awful format, Awful gimmick race.

    But of course Sky continue to push the view that it was the greatest thing ever because they clearly just repeat what the Liberty overlords tell them to.


    1. Oh @roger-ayles… You seem to hate what F1 has become, but you keep coming back for more every week…
      It’s not going to go back to the way you want it. Never ever.

      You know Einstein’s definition of insanity, right?

      1. It’s hard to simply turn off something you have loved passionately for nearly 50 years of your life.

        This year may well end up been my last however if it ends up been as Indycar+ as i think it may.

      2. To be fair, you do tend to give races extremely low scores in the rate the race poll. It seems that you and @roger-ayles both hate F1 in its current state, for totally contrasting reasons, an example of why you can’t please everybody.

        1. Indeed – but at least I try to suggest ways to improve current F1 rather than simply trying to turn back the clock.

    2. @roger-ayles – You’ve got that wrong. Sky don’t say what Liberty want them to…. Liberty do what Sky want them to.

    3. Have you finished doing your secondary rant yet? I’m looking forward to it.

  22. And in other news – F1 purists dislike change…
    Was it really that much worse than an hour of Practice 3?

    1. Was it really that much worse than an hour of Practice 3?

      Yes because FP3 doesn’t hand out points, FP3 doesn’t override the actual qualifying session to decide the grid & FP3 gives you more track action over 60 minutes rather than a 30 minute pointless gimmick procession.

      It destroys the thrill & excitement of the real qualifying session by rending it far less relevant & it devalues the real GP race tomorrow as we have seen the start, we have seen a race, we have seen a winner & we have seen how the race tomorrow will likely play out in terms of passing.

      It’s simply an awful gimmick with no redeeming features.

      1. So you’d prefer a longer session that is a complete and utter waste of time, and achieves nothing of any value at all instead?
        Okey dokey.

        BTW – qualifying is exactly the same. It just happens a day earlier. And then has another qualifying session after it.
        Kinda like it did decades ago, with Friday and Saturday Qualifying sessions….

        1. you’re missing the point big time. the problem is not that we are missing out on Practice, the problem is that qualifying is now irrelevant and the race is less exciting

          1. @nickthegreek The races are less exciting because F1 races are generally less exciting anyway. These cars are terrible racing cars.
            I’d go further and say that the cars themselves aren’t even particularly exciting.

            At least sprint races offer an ‘exciting’ part – the start.
            GP’s tend to not provide much value after that either, normally.

      2. Can’t say I’ve ever been excited by or during a practice session. A race start though? Yeah race starts are always enthralling. Then there’s the tension of what might happen during a race when it is for something, even if in hindsight it ends up being relatively uneventful. Same as can happen on Sundays. There is no tension nor anything enthralling in a practice session. Folks got to see their beloved regular qualifying yesterday, a low fuel sprint today with an enthralling start, and then a regular race tomorrow with it’s usual enthralling start on full fuel and then the tension of what may happen during said race.

    2. You’re acting like a spoiled child calling people “F1 purists” just because you’ve got a different opinion.
      It was worse than an hour of Practice 3 indeed. And those medals made it quite comical.

      1. Many F1 purists have previously labelled themselves as such, @amian. I’m sorry if that’s offensive to you.

        The medals were indeed quite ridiculous, but you can’t honestly tell me that you’d rather watch practice sessions than competitive sessions?
        And if you do, then I totally stand by my comment.

        1. I wouldn’t rather watch FP3 than the sprint race but I’d much rather watch a qualifying session that actually matters.

          1. Yes, pete makes the right point.

          2. Of course qualifying matters @petebaldwin – it sets the grid for the sprint.
            And the field order didn’t really change much during the sprint, so normal qualifying still has a huge effect on GP start order.

  23. Too bad for Gasly and the safety car. If not for that, it would be a threesome for the fourth and maybe guys on softs would get some rubber issues.
    Otherwise, not that bad. Only too short. Like them on low fuel, bunched up.
    And NO! to the standalone sprint races. That is pushing it too far…

  24. Either go all the way and try a reverse grid race, or don’t even bother… these half baked solutions don’t work. What we watched was basically just a third of a boring race not paying any points, almost everything that we saw was of no consequence. At some points I started getting excited thinking how this might unfold, only to remember 5 seconds later that this was not the race proper.

    Overall, please let’s go back to the normal weekends. Most sports have a well defined structure, and the same should be true of F1. Saturday qualifying, Sunday race, that’s it.

    1. Reverse grids would certainly make the session more valuable from both a viewer aspect and from a WDC aspect – but the teams rejected it.
      This is as far as F1 can go while the participants have control.

    2. I’d have qualifying on Friday which decides the Sunday grid. On Saturday, they can do a reverse grid sprint race with half points given.

      *Id rather no Sprint race but if they’re going to do it, that would be my preferred format.

    3. Yes, reverse grids are a good idea, we had the confirmation in hungary!

  25. I like it! Definitely better than 1 hour of practice session. In fact I don’t usually watch practice 3, but I’ll watch Sprint Race!

  26. Yes, missed the start, so missed the real action…totally boring

  27. It was not as bad as the scores suggest. It felt a bit short though. Soft tyres would have struggled had there been a few more laps.

    1. But every race is different, you see how significantly more drivers picked soft tyres here compared to silverstone? Back then alonso really struggled in the end, here it didn’t happen, so as a matter of fact, if you had to quickly overtake someone, softs were right here.

  28. People don’t seem to get it. The fact that those complaining about the Sprint are watching it is proof that it is working. Of course people are going to watch 30 mins of flat out racing no matter how much or how little overtaking there is over 60 mins of cars circling a track in practice. The Sprint is clearly there with a main reason of boosting viewership figures, and if you’re lucky adding a bit to the show before the main race.
    Personally I quite like the idea and hope it stays at 5 events max each year. And of course the racing should be better next year with the new regs, I for these reasons I think the sprint is here to stay.
    However if they really want to shake up qualifying they should do a top 10 shootout instead of Q3, with each car getting one lap each to put it on pole. If you’re not convinced by this just search “Bathurst 1000 Top 10 Shootout” and you will be.

    1. @milesy-jam I would have watched an hour of qualifying instead of the sprint race so its really not boosting viewership. The classic qualifying and race format has been fine for 70 years. Fix the car issues and stop with the. gimmicks is all they need do. I was utterly opposed to even testing sprint races as I believe they should’ve seen the results of the new regulations First.

    2. that’s a terrible argument, this is racefans and everyone here is an F1 fanatic, of course most of them will watch it. it’s not proof that it’s working

      the opinion of the people here is not necessarily indicative of the opinion of the general public. just the fact that they are watching sprint is not indicative either

      1. I think the problem is that F1 fanatics will watch it whatever happens, therefore it doesn’t really matter what we think. The hope is that people who wouldn’t otherwise watch F1 will watch the sprint because it is only a short race, but I would imagine that after today any non-F1 fans who gave it a go will not tune in to the next one.

        1. There was a Sailing race worth watching in St Tropez today . I made that choice after watching the first sprint. I pocked a few time on the live of this site, went right back to my sailing race no to miss any action. Never thought I would say that but SailGP now beats F1 in my book ,No gimmick, Ill go back tomorrow for another day of racing on the water. Will check F1 after. Maybe Highlights? At this rate I’m afraid to find golf more interesting than F1 0ne day!

  29. I tried to go into these prints open minded. Sceptical but willing to have my mind changed.

    After the 2 we have seen so far i’m not a fan at all. I just don’t see what it add’s & overall just don’t like how the sprint alters the rest of the weekend & how it makes the other sessions play out.

    I’ve already been told that they have already made the decision to add as many as 10 sprint weekends next year with them aiming to ‘trial’ different variations of the sprint format & there is a big push to try & find a way of making the sprint format something they can use at every race.

    1. Same here, and I voted 6 here, so I’m really between the highest!

    2. @gt-racer we tried, just like Liberty asked.

      They also said they would listened to feedback and if it wasn’t any good, they’d discard it, but it’s been obvious from the start that they were going to bring this in regardless of feedback.

      I expect that over the next couple of years that they’ll experiment with having multiple sprint races on a weekend (probably 1 Saturday and 2 Sunday) replace the feature race format.

      I’m sticking around for another year because I want to see how the new cars turn out and what difference that makes, but if I had to guess, I doubt I’ll be bothering to renew my subscription in 2023 given the direction of F1

  30. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
    11th September 2021, 16:54

    This just feels redundant. 3.

  31. Hated the idea, tried to give it a chance but I’m right back where I started. Ruined Silverstone for me and now it’s ruining another of my favourite races.

    1. And a future 1 for all the sprint races under the current format.

  32. Meh. I think we can safely say that the sprint format doesn’t work.

    If they have to keep it (no doubt the powers that be will insist on it) then it absolutely must be an independent race separate from qualifying and the Grand Prix. It defeats the whole purpose of a ‘sprint’ if the drivers need to have one eye on the main race at all times.

  33. and it will be branded a indisputable success by the Liberty tandem. Polls that they cannot rig do not interest them.

  34. 2/10. That’s generous.
    What is the point? Bottas drove fine in the ‘sprint qualifying’ for 18 laps but was completely untroubled. Was that a pole-setting performance? No, he did that yesterday. As for the race, one lap of mayhem and then… lap countdown watching.

    1. And no one had any incentive to challenge him even if they could given he’ll be at the back for the actual race. All a bit silly really.

  35. I’m honestly surprised how bad the reactions are. I actually don’t mind the format, although I might be the only one. I’m not saying it’s better than classic weekends, but I like that they are trying something new.

  36. Ridiculous and unnecessary. The inevitable clash in the first lap, and then a 15 lap procession. Wasn’t even long enough for a nap.

  37. Trashy commercialism. Oh and those medals look like something handed out after the 4th Annual Cerebral Palsy Fun Walk and 5k in Omaha Nebraska. Then they attached them to key lanyards. At least they skipped the ridiculous wreath.

    1. Got to say the medal design was just tragic.

      1. To further their insistence that a medal was being given out, they made Davide Valsecchi point it out repeatedly, esp. to Bottas who was coolly ignoring it.

    2. LOL!!!! And at least they didn’t send them around the circuit in a lorry this time! Baby steps.

  38. This was obviously a stupid place to have a sprint race, it’s a DRS train. These should be brilliant. The championship rivals want to play safe, those without skin in the game want to race, so it should be mayhem… problem is no on can overtake in F1.

    1. Next time why not make one in monaco?

  39. The second coming of Christ could occur in the midst of this event and I’d still rank it a 1/10. Just make it go away.

    1. PS that’s the last sprint qualy I’ll be watching. I will read the result here, just like FP1/2/3. No more viewership from me.

  40. 1.-
    Another farce.
    Another sign that the new owners of Formula 1 and old FIA have the full conviction that the fans are idiots.
    Both of them are only interested in making money, anyway.
    Like with these ridiculous and unsportsmanlike “sprint qualyifing” …

  41. I don’t think I’ve rated a race below a 4 or 5 before because I like watching cars going round in circles, but I gave that one a 2 as I would prefer to have not watched it.

    My main problem with it is that it is a huge spoiler for the main race – we now know how hard overtaking is in the top 10, so I fully expect the first part of tomorrow’s race to be as processional at the front as the sprint was.

    I dislike that the two championship leaders now won’t start close together and so probably won’t end up racing each other tomorrow. I dislike knowing what the race pace of the cars are before the race has even started. I dislike that a great lap in traditional quali counts for less. I dislike that the sprint peaks at the start and the drivers sound really unexcited at the end.

    I am really up for adding some extra action to a weekend but this surely can’t be the best way of doing that.

    1. @spirals I really like the dislikes, spot on, especially the last one: “I dislike that the sprint peaks at the start and the drivers sound really unexcited at the end.” The pattern seems to be brief excitement at the start and then quickly fizzling out.

      Let’s put it in context: it was a qualifying event, supposedly a knife-edge of combining skill, clever setup and pushing at the limit but not over, yet Verstappen was content to drive calmly around behind Bottas knowing he had pole anyhow. How does that match a Q3 final run shoot out? Same goes for virtually every other place after the first lap. Really it all seems to come down to one element: how good your start is. Maybe just make it a one-lap race then.

  42. just scrap this bs

  43. Really impressive stats: we went from 50% voting 1-5 to 50% voting 1-2 and 78% voting 1-5, guess that speaks volumes.

  44. Next year’s cars are supposed to improve overtaking – that’s the only possibility of making this ‘sprint’ qualifying thing more than a procession.

  45. I just found the whole thing so frustrating. It’s (unsurprisingly) no different to the first 18 laps of a grand prix. It just stops a few laps after the stagnation begins before we’d usually start to see strategies play out. I just don’t get it. Watch a grand prix if you’re interested enough in F1. If you’re not, watch the highlights of the grand prix the following day. I just don’t get the point.

  46. I invite everyone who voted low for this sprint race check their own rating and comment after last year’s full race.

    There were probably more real battles and overtakes in this sprint than the longer ‘sprint’ after the red flag last year.
    Was that really better, or do racefans just like to hate change.

  47. 1 for me. Whilst the sprint itself is ok I can’t buy into the idea that Gasly qualifies 6th then starts last because of the crash. Qualifying should determine race grid fullstop

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