Sprint trial “progressing in the right direction” – Domenicali

2021 F1 season

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Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali remains pleased with the progress the series has made with its sprint qualifying format despite the poorly-received second running of the event at Monza.

The Saturday afternoon sprint qualifying race was a largely processional affair which prompted criticism from fans and drivers. Sergio Perez described it as “boring”.

Domenicali, who last month described feedback to the first running of the sprint qualifying event as “overwhelmingly positive”, said the sport will wait until the third and final running of the format at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix in November before assessing it.

“As I always said, we are happy because things are progressing in the right direction,” Domenicali told Channel 4. He said the sprint qualifying race had contributed to a lively grand prix on Sunday.

“You may argue on the fact that the sprint was not so interesting. But at the end of the day, we had an incredible start, something happened, and you see that there is a McLaren on the front row.

“As we always said we’re going to do the debrief at the end of the third session, that’s going to be in Brazil, and see what type of things that we can bring on. But I think what we are doing is absolutely the right thing.”

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F1’s motorsport director Ross Brawn revealed the Italian Grand Prix “delivered the strongest ever weekend streaming numbers” on its streaming service F1 TV.

“We had three days of excitement and tension,” he said. “Ordinarily, you only get two days. I firmly believe the whole event was improved – and, as I said, effectively shook up the order for the grand prix.

“Formula 1 has been brave enough to carry out this experiment and give an opportunity to review this format. Let’s not forget, the format hasn’t changed in F1 for decades. I think it offers a lot – and we still have a track to try it on. Then we’ll make an objective assessment and work out a way forward.”

Drivers’ criticism generally focused on the difficulty of overtaking during Saturday’s race, which was one-third of the distance of the grand prix.

“My feeling is the sprint is is too short,” said George Russell. “The cars are pretty much driving flat-out every single lap and it doesn’t offer enough opportunity between the cars to be able to overtake.

“Normally when you see overtaking it’s because of a tyre delta. If everybody goes out there, Mercedes and Red Bull are within a few tenths, then McLaren and the next cars are within a few tenths and so on and so on. You only get that overtaking opportunity with the tyre delta and 100 kilometre race didn’t give you that opportunity.”

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Keith Collantine
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  • 84 comments on “Sprint trial “progressing in the right direction” – Domenicali”

    1. Russell is right – the sprint race is too short. Let’s lengthen it – say, to 300km or so. It would probably need to be moved to the Sunday afternoon in that case, which means there would only be time for one race per weekend. Perhaps we could then move qualifying to the Saturday and have an extra practice session to compensate.

      1. @red-andy I think Ross Brawn needs to hand over planning of race weekends to you, that sounds like a perfect solution…

      2. @red-andy

        I agree with @neilosjames , that is an innovative & quality idea that you’ve come up with. Brawn should take note and implement it. Unfortunately, the comments from individuals working for F1-Liberty have their own unique view & opinion on the success of the new format.

        What is interesting, like many here I too have been reading many other F1 websites and forums; the general opinion from readers and writers is that the sprint races appear to be overwhelmingly panned. Of course there are some that liked it but I would say about 75+% had the opinion that the sprint race did not add any value to the weekend or made sense.
        I think the big problem is that F1-Liberty is not listening to us nor value us as much as the new potential fans that their trying to draw in, the ones who may not know very much about motorsports and what quality racing is and instead prefer spectacle shows?

      3. It’s crazy but it could work @red-andy

        1. @red-andy
          People are always resistant to change. One can never expect to please everybody and contrary to what people think, the fans don’t always know better. Some could argue successfully they rarely do!
          Personally I really like the sprint format. It takes away one practice session, which means less predictability as teams have less data to work with. We have an extra race start at the weekend which is often one of the highlights of the race weekend.
          We have more to talk about and get more on track action and it adds an extra element to the weekend.
          Sure, it’s not perfect. It could use some tweaking, for example the pole position stats, sprint race length etc. But thats the purpose of trying things out. To learn and make it better. Keep it coming I say.

          1. Please, stop saying.

      4. @red-andy – Interesting concept… I think they should trial it going forward at every race.

      5. mmm… that sounds more clever indeed… you must have 200+ IQ

      6. Stefano, Ross, are you listening? Someone is thinking totally out of the box here. I think you should pay attention, it could work.

    2. F1’s motorsport director Ross Brawn revealed the Italian Grand Prix “delivered the strongest ever weekend streaming numbers” on its streaming service F1 TV.

      There you go, that’s the only metric that matters to F1. Sprint thing is here to stay.

      1. How convenient that these sprint “trials” are done on three of the most popular tracks of the calendar. Lets try it next year at Sochi, Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia and see if that makes any difference to viewing numbers

        Reply moderated
        1. I’m pretty sure that if the title race is open at the time of Abu Dhabi race the ratings are going to get higher than average ratings anyway.

          1. Give it a trial at Monaco.

      2. Well I do not know if this is true for all countries, but F1 TV had a 50% price off in my country during the Belgian GP so the increase in numbers is not necessarily due to the sprint qualifying.

        1. That is indeed a good tidbit of information that might well provide some relevant context to that claim @exeviolthor, correlation versus causation etc.

        2. It’s just all part of their plan to push this through. They’re sticking to the “feedback is positive” line despite the fact I’ve only seen negativity towards it and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find out they’d requested 50% to coincide with the sprint races so they can argue more people watched.

          Ultimately, it seems like the TV companies want sprint races and whilst Liberty know they will be really unpopular, they are trying every trick in the book to create a narrative that people like them.

          It was very notable how many of the people on Sky’s coverage were previously fairly negative about this and are suddenly saying things like “well it’s much more exciting than practice!”

          1. To be more accurate, it is just one broadcaster that wants this, and that is Sky. However, due to them paying a disproportionately high percentage of the total revenue when compared to the number of subscribers, and with Liberty Global – the parent company to Liberty Media – carrying out other commercial deals with Sky, it seems that Sky gets what it wants even if other broadcasters are not interested.

    3. Here is my idea;

      leave Fridays for practice – have 1 of the sessions just for rookies / reserve drivers

      Saturday Quali format: Q1: bottom 5 eliminated, Q2: next 5 eliminated (as it is now).
      Q3: instead of timed laps, let the top 10 sort it out via a sprint ‘race’ (I disagree with GR here – shorter sprints are better): Standing Start + 10 crazy laps for the top 10. (this will even add more weight to Q2 as it basically decides the sprint’s grid)

      1. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
        15th September 2021, 12:26

        The format is not the problem, it is the fact that cars cannot overtake or follow without their aero getting affected. If it’s 5 laps or 10 laps or 15 laps it wouldn’t matter. You would only increase the chances of someone crashing into someone in a desperate need to overtake (refer to the race on sunday).

        1. The format is not the problem, it is the fact that cars cannot overtake or follow without their aero getting affected

          This is my take exactly, but all the whinging here, there and everywhere doesn’t seem to have considered one crucial point
          (admittedly I don’t spend A LOT Of time in the comments sections so I could be wrong, but I am so far yet to see this point made)….. the Sprint is being trialled now, with the current 2020/21 cars. The true potential of the Sprint qualifying will only surely be seen next year with the 2022 cars.

          I would imagine that they will take the results of this years trial, apply them to next year and repeat the trial, and maybe with include an additional 2 or so races that will remain TBC until they have more data on the new cars performance. Then, they will be in a position to assess whether its a success or not.

          Liberty and F1 are regulated companies, and as such have very specific protocols they have to follow regards statements etc. They simply cannot have their own employees to publicly criticise their own product, saying things like “This doesn’t work” etc, which is what anything other than Brawn and Domenicali’s comments would amount to

          1. @unklegsif I for one (and a few others here) have been making that point going back to last year and even the year before (since the new cars were to be with us this year but for the pandemic). Once the cars are much better able to race more closely we shouldn’t have the processions that today’s cars can have even with drs, and so yes I think things like Sprint races and the regular races themselves will have quite a different feel to them. I think that tracks that have become known to be difficult to pass on, will suddenly have 3 good passing places open up, just as a general example. I think it is going to be fascinating to see. Such an unknown that it is going to be even harder to sit and wait through the off-season this time.

          2. @robbie @asleepatthewheel

            @unklegsif
            Totally agree about overtaking being a critical issue, it’s not talked about a lot but it is mentioned here occasionally and on other sites but it mostly goes onto deaf ears. I think a lot of people don’t realize the size F1 car now, their size is now really, really big compared to F1 cars of the past. They’re now literally the same size as a Ford F-150 pickup but with a longer wheelbase and just as wide, they’re 20% longer overall than a LMP1 Hypercar and 250 lbs heavier than a F1 car 10 yrs ago. They don’t fit on the classic tracks like they use to. Then add the dirty air.

            No manufactured racing (reverse grid) will fix that and certainly does not help things in racing and certainly doesn’t make much sense using a sprint race to set the grid when its so hard to overtake.

            1. PS> Another way to put it in perspective: Current F1 cars wheelbase is also the same length & width as a Rolls-Royce Phantom (EWB) 4 door extended wheelbase model.

        2. Are you sure? The whole idea of the sprint race was really rushed through, with signs that they really didn’t think through all of the side effects it might have – they were still trying to sort out the rules for how this was supposed to work only days before the first race.

          The purpose for adding this event seems confused, with mixed messages being given as to what it was supposed to be, and the way in which the same organisers are now trying to give some sort of purpose to the event to keep it going and keeping the sponsorship deal going just makes it look as though they don’t really know where to go with this idea.

          It doesn’t matter how ‘raceable’ the cars are when the whole event feels like a botched compromise that is flailing around for a sense of purpose to begin with. You are putting a lot of hope on those new rules – if they fail to deliver, then there will probably be a lot of disappointment.

    4. In short, heading in the right direction means that the natural order is disrupted and more people pay money on one of the 3 days.

      Who cares if the sprint is boring, we get more cash

    5. Sounds like they’ve deluded themselves into reading what they want from any data they get, ignoring the fact sprint is a terrible advert for F1 being so unpopular and boring.

    6. The right direction being the direction of the exit I hope.

      1. There’s been a couple of rumors recently about Liberty getting out and selling F1 to Saudi Arabia investors. Which would make sense as Liberty is probably realizing that there’s too much work to get the numbers/ROI they were hoping for.

        1. @redpill I’ve also read about the Saudi ownership rumor. I can’t really decide yet what I’d feel about such commercial rights holder change, but no rush since this is merely speculation for now. Time will tell.

          1. @jerejj

            The following days of Spa fiasco, I was saying to myself Liberty must be getting tired of all this F1 headaches and wants out. After the massive losses from Covid and all the headaches and uncertainty from it; I’m betting the last thing they needed or want is all the negative press and blowback about the sport they own. Liberty is an investment capital investment group openly traded on the stock exchange, their sole purpose is to bring more profits to their stock holders annually and keep the stock improving from previous years, it’s nothing to do with race cars. I can’t imagine they were forecasting all that has happened in F1 and the massive impacts/losses from Covid.

            If another group offered them a price that they can live with, I wouldn’t be surprised if they would take it in a flash. They can use that money on other investments thats more in their wheel house and potentially bring more profits to their stockholders and with less headaches for Liberty.

            Yes, it’s all rumors and to be honest, Liberty has tried to improve F1 a lot but I’m not sure if Liberty knows what their doing and if their end game is what true motorsports fans will love. I don’t think we need more races in the dessert and everything else that could come with it but right now who knows what will happen.

    7. “No matter your reaction, more of you is simply tuning in on Friday and it’s bringing us more money and that’s all we care about.”

      1. Yup for the shareholders the only opinion that counts is the moneh.

    8. I hope with “progressing in the right direction” he means that it’s almost over (with potentially only Brazil left) and we will never see it again?

    9. I love that all the whining from the “change is bad!” crowd doesn’t matter at all this time. Sprint is here to stay and it’s the best thing F1 has done for years. Now get rid of qualifying altogether and it’s perfect.

      1. I completely disagree with your opinion on the sprint, not because I hate change, but because it deflates the weekend for me; but your hope for them getting rid of qualifying will never happen. Not because people do still want to see the fastest laps possible, but because the whole reason to go for sprint and moving quali to friday is so that there’s an event on every day of the weekend.

      2. What’s going to determine the sprint grid without any form of qualifying, finishing results from the last race, reverse results from the last race, championship order? o_O

      3. Change IS bad when it is implemented for the wrong reasons. I understand that the “video gamer” crowd is used to change parameters at the click of a button,( instant rain, damage level, etc) Maybe they should stick to video games.

      4. Coventry Climax
        17th September 2021, 1:38

        I suggest we change your salary. Change is good, right? So let’s change it to, say, 15% of what it is now. I’m pretty sure your fans will love it.
        Maybe this example is enough to get it through to you, that it’s not the change itself, it is the direction of change that’s under discussion here.
        To make fun of you: I’m sure you’d like your salary changed to 150% a lot more, where literally, your fans and adversaries could argue that it’s zero difference. Get it, 15 vs. 150?

    10. So to summarise from Liberty.

      Even though we said we’d “trial” sprint qualifying and then make a decision about whether or not it added any value and would be worth keeping, we didn’t mean that at all and had already decided that we would force this upon everyone.
      Why am I not surprised in the least.

      I’m just concerned about the next grand idea they’ll spring on us now that they’ve made it clear they’ll do what they want.

      1. Draw numbers out of a hat to determine the grid for the race.
        We could have all sorts of ‘names’ drawing the numbers, perhaps even the drivers themselves, musical interludes, audience participation, prize give aways.
        Lets make it a proper event lasting for a couple of hours.
        The teams would like it as it removes some wear and tear on their cars and it would be more entertaining than sprint qualifying.

    11. Too short, LOL. How long should a Sprint be? I don’t quite get his point.

      1. @jerejj It’s not going to stay a sprint, I posted about a month or two ago that they’re looking at introducing a similar concept as Supercars. Since then their wish list has gone on to add more points and last week I think it was, talk started about turning the ‘sprint’ into a stand alone series.
        All of this of course will not effect the GP.

    12. I honestly don’t get the opposition against Sprint races.

      We as fans get to enjoy a proper qualifying session and a Grand Prix, but get an extra race instead of a Free Practice session. In my opinion: no matter how boring a Sprint Race is, it will always be more exciting than a Free Practice.

      I just don’t think the Sprint should decide the starting grid for the Grand Prix. But that’s a minor detail that can be easily adressed.

      1. I kind of agree with you. I don’t hate the new format but it does need some tweaking. Maybe a second qualifying session somehow slotted into the weekend after the sprint race. Take the first quali to decide starting grid for sprint and second qauli for main race, or maybe the average quali times of both for main race.

      2. @rogerzzz – It’s not a minor detail…. It’s a fairly major detail that means qualifying is meaningless and the drivers aren’t willing to take any risks because it’s not worth it.

        In terms of easily addressing it – how? They’ve said over and over that they don’t want to detract from the Sunday Race and have gone as far as pretending Saturday isn’t a race… If they say it doesn’t set the grid for Sunday, surely it now is a race? Do we just have 2 races every weekend? I’m fine with that but obviously it is going to make the Sunday Race feel less special.

      3. I think comparing it to the free practice session it replaces is the wrong approach @rogerzzz. Of course a race is more exciting than a practice session – no one is arguing otherwise – but it’s about the impact it has on the whole weekend. At the moment you have a two-part race of 400km in length, with the first quarter run on a Saturday and the rest the day after. How is that more exciting than a traditional Grand Prix weekend?

      4. @rogerzzz

        In my opinion: no matter how boring a Sprint Race is, it will always be more exciting than a Free Practice.

        For me it isn’t because it’s taking away time from one of the best parts of the weekend for me which is the ability throughout practice to walk around the circuit & watch the cars from different places which is something you only really get to do in practice & where a single hour of practice isn’t really enough.

        Even on TV having the normal format works out better because practice gives time to watch & compare what drivers are doing, How cars are performing, How updates are working, Analyse all the data & just sit back to watch & enjoy the cars lapping without having to pay so much attention to laptimes, strategy etc…. which you do in qualifying of races.

        Plus I think the sprint gimmick format just takes so much away from the build over the weekend & devalues somewhat from the GP given how we have seen all the buildup, the start & a bit of a race the day before.

        The format just falls flat, It takes away aspects of the weekend I enjoy, Devalues qualifying, devalues the race & again just for me overall falls completely flat. I hate the format, I hate the sprint & I despise Liberty for what they have done to this once great sport that i’ve loved so dearly for practically my entire life!

        #LibertyOut!

        1. You are exactly the kind of fan that the Liberty twins do not give Hoot about . I watched some sailing last week end, 1st time in decades i deliberately chose not to watch F1. SailGP was great tho !

          1. Which is sad considering that it’s the most dedicated fans such as me who are the one’s F1 should be trying to keep as it’s us who will watch all of the track action, It’s us who will attend every possible race weekend & test session we are able to & it’s us who will be most willing to spend money on the sport, Especially as it’s on PayTV in many regions now.

            F1 is doomed to decline under the Liberty Indycar+ model. Maybe it will see a spike in the short term but initially as the gimmicks turn off the dedicated fans & the casuals don’t stick around it will find itself in the same trouble nascar has.

            Stop the gimmicks, Stop the Indycar+ agenda & lets get Liberty Out so that F1 can become F1 again, The pinnacle of the sport & a SPORT before show!

            Those that want spec cars, millions of meaningless overtakes & all the other Indycar+ restrictions can just go watch one of the many spec categories that are better suited to them than F1.

            1. @roger-ayles Lol ‘Liberty Out’ means automatically you’d get ‘your’ F1 back.

    13. Liberty have done a lot of things right since they took over from Bernie… more than they are given credit for in my opinion. Forcing through Sprint Qualifying is not one of them however.

      1. Coventry Climax
        17th September 2021, 1:48

        I’m interested, tell me the list of the ‘lot of things they have done right’, please.

    14. Tip of the iceberg. Expect success ballast, more spec components, and most likely reverse grids. This is the direction of travel and sprint races were just a way to crack open the gate.

    15. Strap in folks, despite what fans are saying there will be more sprint races in future.

    16. Liberty clearly repeats the same line “there is no bad publicity” and will only have to say ‘great’ things about the sprint, as long as they are getting the sweet sponsorship money.

      Let’s hope that team principals actually hear the overwhelmingly negative reviews by the fans and hopefully have the power to ditch this sprint thing next year (and whatever else Liberty decides like reverse ultra mega sprint).

      1. Not just the fans, more drivers came out against it this time. When Alonso, Vettel, Hamilton and others speak they should pay attention. Fan are one thing but if the drivers don’t feel it, it’s there for all to see and nothing good is going to come out from it.

    17. If the 2022 cars are raceable, then both the sprint and the main will be consistently entertaining to watch. If the cars are not raceable, then both will suffer, but the sprint in particular.

      The real opportunity cost of the sprint is not spectacle, it’s FP3. The question is whether you would rather watch a sprint race or FP3. The quality of the race depends in large part on the quality of the cars. The format is only a secondary consideration, although I do agree that this particular format is flawed, as a result of a dissatisfying political compromise between opponents and proponents of reverse grids.

      1. That’s the thing with F1…
        If they fixed this part properly:

        The quality of the race depends in large part on the quality of the cars.

        Then they wouldn’t need to fiddle with this part at all:

        The format

        But after multiple decades, they still haven’t made technical regs that lead directly to proper racing cars.

        1. I have a very high level of confidence that the new cars will be able to race much more closely together, but that has little to do with practice sessions or flying lap quali. It will still take races for us to enjoy the new cars and their abilities to race closely. So even with the new cars, if they want a more exciting or meaningful Friday and Saturday, it will still require a format change.

          1. Coventry Climax
            17th September 2021, 2:00

            Yes, we had gathered as much, since you’ve been ranting on about it for quite some time now. What you call high level of confidence is, to me, more like blind faith. Given the absolute brown, cow excrement type of talk from the likes of Masi, Brawn, Domenicali and Hembery, I’d like to know your prescription of anti-depressive medication. Must be extraordinary stuff.
            I’m more of the kind ‘see before believe’.

    18. It’s fairly clear that no matter what the actual opinion of the fans, Domenicali is going to plough on with his sprint races regardless. That’s a shame.

      Still, it clearly does something to Max & Lewis’ blood pressure. Two sprint races so far this season and they both cause calamity on the Sunday. It’s like the Saturday gives both of them a sneak preview of how the race is going to go, and the driver who doesn’t like the glimpse into the future takes the opportunity to “racing incident” the other driver off the road.

      1. Correlation does not infer causation. It was the pit stops that brought them together, and the championship situation itself that is causing the racing incidents. I do understand your point, but I don’t think it has an influence personally.

        1. Absolutely @john-h, I know correlation is not causation, and yes the pit stops provided them with the opportunity on Sunday. I just thought the psychology of having the full Saturday ‘race pace’ sneak preview in their minds was an interesting new variable away from the normal race weekend and certainly makes what has happened each sprint Sunday at least something to look at and ponder over. Given that it’s a new concept, it’s at least something to observe. I wonder what will happen at Interlagos :)

          1. Indeed, you could be on to something @bealzbob. I guess it kind of replaces the enhanced long run practice sessions which are curtailed on such weekends. Let’s see in Brazil.

    19. The sprint should take place on the circuits with the longest run to turn 1. Then just a single lap. This it appears is when the action happens.

    20. More in the wrong direction.

    21. I think there’s something that makes sense out of this sprint quali idea: recently a few friends of mine from different countries started watching f1, up till recently I didn’t know anyone who watched regularly, and one of them said: even if the sprint race wasn’t that eventful, it’s 1 more race, better 2 than 1.

      So it seems true (anedoctally) that more people are being attracted to watch lately and you don’t have to compare the sprint race to a normal race (so far sucks ofc), but need to compare it to a free practice session, at that point a race like that is better, and there’s meaningful action all 3 days.

      Obviously they can review some details, like points given, length and so on if something seems bad.

      1. It sure seems that way. If the sprint can just be decoupled from qualifying, that’d be great!

    22. The whole thing is just depressing. A needless change that will give some extra viewers in the short term, but then fade away in the long term and for what? To ruin stats around pole positions like Bottas’ great lap? It’s clear they have an agenda, are not listening to anyone, and will push this through getting answers that they want to hear from the minority.
      As I say, depressing.

      1. And don’t get me started on the tacky medals that look like school sports day. Awful.

        1. Indeed, but better then the funeral wreath in Silverstone.

      2. Oh no! The stats! Think of the stats, people!!!
        Without a doubt, the stats would have saved F1 in the long term. Viewers and sponsors aren’t important – all we need is pure statistics.

        They are certainly listening to someone @john-h. Liberty are a commercial marketing company and they are very keen to listen to their accountants and shareholders. That’s who measures their success.

        1. I don’t say stats are everything, please stop being so polarising.

      3. Coventry Climax
        17th September 2021, 2:12

        I agree, fully. And what’s depressing as well to me , is the fake talk they’re all doing. It’s all done and dusted already. How else can you say it’s moving in the ‘right direction’, unless you’ve already decided what that direction should be?

    23. In the Ecclestone era F1 was more about sporting competition, now it’s just show business. Liberty has done a lot of good work but only on the media side. The attitude of Brawn and Domenicali is embarrassing. It’s not about the fans, it’s about the money. I hope F1 in the USA will fail spectacularly so Liberty will sell F1.

      Even next year’s rulebook changes won’t change anything about sprints. Sprints are not for categories like Formula 1.

      Reply moderated
    24. Ive watched every race since 97 and honestly I don’t really mind Sprint. I don’t miss it either when its a normal weekend. It is what it is and it ticks my meritocracy box so I can live with it. I hate the idea that they keep wanting to “shake up the grid”. It worries me and it’s what stopped me watching Formula E as their group qualifying disadvantages the championship leaders and turns it into a bit of an “everyone gets a trophy championship”. Wow every race a mixed up grid and different winners….turns out thats not very exciting at all. Although I did enjoy the Monaco E-Prix.

      Im worried that sprint is just slow boiling the frog i.e start with sprint then eventually its reverse grid races so merit goes out of the window. It seems to me that Ross wants reverse grid sprints and he is just using this as a tactic to win over the existing fans by slowly introducing the changes he really wants.

      Ross and others have this ridiculous idea that F1 fans are all old people and young people don’t have a long enough attention span to watch F1 as it stands. Well look at Lando, George and Charles who are young and now drive in F1. All of them gamers who are the target new audience and who’s attention spans look just fine to me. What about the lads who run WTF1? Not exactly drawing their pensions are they. Im sorry but thinking that young people don’t watch F1 because they have the attention span of a goldfish is old man thinking and insulting to the younger generation.

      Ted said on Sky that young fans were outside the track waiting for drivers but couldn’t afford to go in. A sign that social media presence and Neftlix’s Drive to Survive are working. You want younger fans? Drop the ticket prices and get F1 streaming on Amazon Prime (with some FTA coverage as well). Put it where the fans are and make it affordable. Try that before silly gimmicks that will get fans like me abandoning the sport and make younger fans laugh at it.

      Reply moderated
    25. I like the sprint format… in my eyes it extends the amount of racing we get to see, and lowers practice time. It mixes up things a bit, and rewards cars that can overtake.

      All good things, also Friday then is must see TV.

      But it all boils down to extra 100k of racing. How much racing do we want to see? Endurance racing has 6 hours, 12h, 24h.. 5000+km, Sprint race at 100k is quite slow, not a lot happened after lap 1 in Monza… but race was very similar…

      Next year sprint races should be more exciting with better cars, and they should have them for every event. Point rewards should be examined, reverse grid, etc, considered. But having the event is good.

      1. So let see if I get you here. More bad is good?

      2. Please define “better cars”?

        1. I’d guess by ‘better cars’ jureo is referring to the new aero rules allowing racing cars to follow more closely behind the car in front, resulting in better racing. So ‘better cars for racing’ than this years.

    26. I suspect that the likes of Domenicali and Brawn are working on the premise that as long as the sprint races are not considered a disaster, the likelihood is that next year, they will be better. The 2022 cars ought to be able to stay closer together and race more closely. This should in turn make the sprint races more exciting.

      I am not really a fan of them but I don’t think they are going anywhere. In fact I think there will be more of them if in 2022, they become more exciting.

      Russell’s idea of them being longer is just ridiculous for obvious reasons. Unless they are going to be treated as a separate series entirely. I think if anything they should be shorter but their future will really depend on next year I think.

    27. Russell is right. The sprint is too short. I reckon if they made it about 3 times longer it would be a lot more interesting ’cause then we’d get more variables like alternative strategies, changeable weather, mechanical gremlins, etc. Much more exciting!

    28. IfImnotverymuchmistaken
      16th September 2021, 13:53

      The only direction this is going is me not watching any part of the weekend except the GP itself. Qualifying is meaningless on Sprint race weekends, and the Sprint race itself is deflating the whole build up to the race for me.

      But that’s just one F1 TV PRO subscriber’s opinion, it doesn’t mean anything to anyone.

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