Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Monza, 2021

Sprint qualifying is boring for drivers, boring for fans and adds nothing – Perez

2021 Italian Grand Prix

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Sergio Perez has rubbished Formula 1’s sprint qualifying format, saying it is as dull to compete in as it is to watch.

The format returned at the Italian Grand Prix weekend and produced a processional race. Perez was one of few drivers to overtake a rival during the 18-lap encounter but had nothing positive to say about it.

The Red Bull driver said the sprint qualifying race felt “the same” as it had when it was run for the first time at Silverstone. “Just very boring.

“There’s nothing happening in it. I don’t see the benefit of having the sprint race. I can imagine it’s also boring for fans, boring for drivers. It doesn’t bring anything to be honest.”

Formula 1 is considering changes to the format for next season. Perez doesn’t believe it enhances the race weekend.

“I think at the moment, how it is, the current format, I don’t feel it brings anything. Obviously it’s done to improve the show and we’ll see if the fans are happy with it.”

Perez says Formula 1 needs longer distance races to produce action. “The problem that we have is with the current Formula 1 cars, to actually overtake, you need a very big delta [lap time difference] across cars. To achieve that, you have to have some kind of degradation.

“I think they’ve probably taken the wrong tracks, as well. But I don’t know where it can be a good place to try it. But the problem is [it’s] too short and you don’t hit any degradation.”

Formula 1 motorsport director Ross Brawn said he was surprised how difficult drivers found it to overtake in the sprint qualifying race.

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46 comments on “Sprint qualifying is boring for drivers, boring for fans and adds nothing – Perez”

  1. Someone had to say it.

    1. Wait for Domenicali “After all that positive response by fans we will do more of this next year” like he did last time

    2. Salute to Perez for being the voice of Everyone who loves F1

  2. Well it’s boring if you are a Perez fan, he’s been rubbish in both.

    1. True, but it’s also boring if you’re not a Perez fan.

      1. +1 .

        It is not boring, If and only If one is not a fan of F1 in general .

        1. I liked it. Alonso showed in both Sprints how it’s done.

          Perez should not blame the format for his poor performance.

          1. Really?

            You mean going from 13th place to 11th? Which was petty much the highlight of the race.

          2. jff, in Monza, Alonso started 13th and finished 11th, and only one of the two places he gained was because of a pass on track – the other place he gained was because of Gasly retiring. Saying that he was “showing how it’s done” is a real stretch in those circumstances.

          3. @redpill and anon – the point is how Alonso approached it, not what he achieved in it.

  3. It’s boring and unnecessary.

  4. Finally a driver not blindly towing the corporate line.
    The suggestion of a extra high degrading tire will not do much to improve the show since the teams will be able to analyze those tires and know exactly how much they degrade and how much management the driver will need to do.
    The other option to force changing conditions would be watering the track just before the formation lap so it is drying throughout. It will take much longer for teams to predict the rate of drying the track will go through than the degradation of any compound.

    In the end, isn’t F1 just being a bit greedy? What other sport has any television audience for practice sessions and anything other than the main event?

    1. Absolutely, not a fan of how perez is driving this year, but finally some courage to say what had to be said.

  5. Well…. It really is boring and unnecessary……

  6. Yes. Yes. Yes!

    Imagine replacing the most perfect hour of motorsport with 20 seconds of chaos and a half-an-hour, nap-inducing processional.

  7. Now Pirelli will make an ultra-mega-sooper-dooper-soft compound just for sprint races.

    1. Ahah, that might actually work!

    2. Actually if they would use the softest compound so C5, there would be likely tyre management issues for many to make it more eventful. But I don’t think they want to do so, they are happy whith what they are doing.

      To me the sprint races are not amazing, because it is more or less the same what actually the large and heavy and aero dependent cars can do at the races. I think it will be better at next season, because those car will likely produce more spectacular racing. But as the quite well informed and semmingly insightful poster “Gt-Racer” said they want to experiment with multiple sprint formats, what sounds quite sad to me.

      To me having reverse grid races with aero dependent large and heavy cars not seems to be a good idea. If the BMW M8 became a meme we can put these cars next to the M8. When I have seen a current F1 car alongside a current LMP1 i was suprised as well. Ok, the size increases safety, with that part I am happy with, but something should change. The aero dependency likely will at next season, so these sprints even can become much better, apart from that it is a large step away from what F1 was before.

      I would have an entirely separate Sprint championship if they want to have an additional race. The results would not affect the GP’s grid neither the points standings of the original championship. They could do this, and award a considerable amount of money for the sprint championship results what can be spent on the cars’ development, on the operational costs, freely spent, not counting into the cost cap. For example 15million dollars for the sprint champion constructor, 12 million to the runer-up, 10 to the third team, an so on. This would not be small, would be considerable compared to the cca 150 million $ cost cap. If the cars finally can produce great racing, it would be much more consumable for the fans than the current effort.

  8. People comes to the races to watch the cars race. Run a complete Grand Prix with full points both on Saturday and Sunday. Two qualifying sessions on the Friday, one for each race. One practice session only. A weekend full of action for the fans.

  9. That’s why it is tested. Still it is for next year. We cannot know how next years cars will handle and are they better for racing. For this year. Yes these two sprints have been 4-6/10 races.

    1. It has been branded as a test or trial, but in reality I would say it has been anything but. If it was really only a trial, there would be no points awarded, no sponsor brought in and Brawn wouldn’t have been saying ‘they will be improved for next year’ before the ‘trial’ was even complete.

  10. Well summarized. That’s exactly it.

  11. Well, it may be boring for the drivers, boring for the fans, a waste of ressources the teams, and adding nothing meaningful to the sport.

    However, on the much brighter side, it is new exciting billboard availability for ponzi scheme crypto currency scams, looking for a sportswashing opportunity.

    So, at least there’s that.

    Reply moderated
  12. I’m not a fan of this format at all, and am just glad a driver has finally come out and said it too.

    To be honest all today did, was give a glimpse at how much of a procession tomorrow’s race is going to be… So on the plus side I now don’t need to waste an hour and a half of my Sunday watching it…

    It adds nothing to the weekend in my view. The gimmicks like the medals they had today are terrible too, and I think even the drivers looked uncomfortable receiving them…

    1. @cdavman Those medals 🤣🤣😭 Looking like something from a junior school sports-day.

      1. They looked alarmingly like the old Jim’ll Fix It medallions…

      2. Ahah, medals are one of the few things I didn’t mind, also with verstappen saying “the first medal of my life!”.

  13. Lando Norris was interviewed on Sky after the sprint & he didn’t exactly seem that positive about it either.

  14. I’d previously thought it wouldn’t be as bad for the drivers because they don’t have to watch it, but… guess not.

    Be nice if a few top drivers, team bosses and analysts (if any of them have contracts that let them diverge from the Liberty line that’s been fed to them by their employers) could pile on too.

  15. It was extreme fun for Ricciardo and Norris, probably Verstappen approves…

    For me it was exciting. I wish they used proper reverse grid and 10 points for first place.

    Sunday should start as per quali.

  16. somehow the first time around everyome missed this fact, or I have bad memory?
    I was still less than impressed the first time

  17. Sprints were pre-praised that there’s no need to save anything, drivers can push throughout, which is not possible on Sundays as fuel limit comes to the play and also too much pushing would mean more pit stops which in turn slow down the progression.

    But is it after all that the need to save (and different drivers doing it in different times) might well be the reason we have seen many cracking races recently?

    1. You might be right.

  18. Mr Thomas P Cullen
    11th September 2021, 19:34

    I think if the words “this track is not good for overtaking” apply then the track should not be on the f1 calendar!

    1. With drs you blast past so easily on most tracks that it’s refreshing to have tracks like monaco, hungary, zandvoort, monza to an extent imo.

  19. Good on Perez for saying so, but I fear this will just agrrivate Ross and Stefano into pushing for reverse grids…

    1. I fear that too.
      If the impose reverse grids for the next years, at least make them count only for the WCC. Let the WDC be decided only by the Sunday GP

    2. Absolutely favourable to reverse grid races, check hungary 2021.

  20. Far be it for the FIA to listen to the drivers. Or the teams. Or the fans. Wait – who are they listening to?

  21. Honestly woke up and cranked the coffee pot to high pumped and ready for Saturday morning qualifying, flipped to guide, went to the channel only to see Sprint qualifying( totally forgot we have this stupid format)….literally made a to go coffee and took my dog for his morning walk. Enough said.

  22. When is it going to become obvious that you cannot make everyone happy.

    Here is a sprint race designed – at least in part – to address the issue of not being able to push flat out in the main race, and now I read in several interviews that a problem with sprint racing is the lack of tyre degradation?

    As has been highlighted by many in the past, this aim of recreating some mythical era of F1 when everyone was nose to tail and overtakes happening left right and centre is not going to happen, and really never did over any extended period. I have taken to watching a number of old F1 events from various era’s and it seems to me that there is a lot less lapping occurring now than there had been in most variants of the formula.

    Unless a conscious pursuit of spec cars with less power and drivers promoted on merit only is undertaken, I do not believe there will ever be the Nirvana scenario that FIA, Liberty, Teams, Drivers, and many fans seem to be chasing. And no, I am not personally suggesting that this is an appropriate direction.

    It is a sad fact that this – like most things in the world – is a money driven problem. More fans equals more revenue. But those additional fans that are not drawn by the core aspects of the sport are being courted by more and more gimmicks and promises of more ‘games console’ style racing (when I am in a particularly grumpy mood, I even cringe and the superimposed in race graphics that highlight the car ahead in true arcade style, though I must concede the information is good).

    I know it is all intertwined and without the big guns F1 would likely not exist, but in turn these teams ‘require’ the exposure and will sink money into it as a result, but I for one would not mourn a return to a more simplistic, cheaper, and yes, more old school style F1. Given that this isn’t going to happen I remain happy to watch F1, but watch it for what it is, not what it could be. Honestly, if it were not for the lack of overall atmosphere and spectacle (as well as the underlying knowledge that it is not the top category) I would potentially rate F2 over F1.

  23. So the drivers that didn’t do well are criticizing it. The drivers that did do well, like it. Not exactly shocking ha

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