Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo, Red Bull Ring, 2022

F1 should consult drivers on which tracks suit sprint races – Bottas

2022 F1 Season

Posted on

| Written by and

Valtteri Bottas says driver input would help pick which tracks are best suited to Formula 1’s sprint race format, which the series intends to expand to six rounds next year.

F1 introduced the format at three rounds last year and swiftly hailed it as a triumph. However its own survey showing only limited support for sprints among fans.

A plan to double the number of sprint events this year was thwarted by pushback from teams due to the need to adhere to a reduced, $140 million (£116m) budget cap this season.

The series hopes to fit six sprint events into the 2023 F1 calendar. However an attempt to approve the rules change needed to ensure it was frustrated by opposition from the FIA two months ago.

The second of this year’s three sprint races last weekend saw little action at the front of the field and some drivers commented on the processional nature of the racing.

Bottas believes the key to success with the format lies in picking which circuits are best suited to races which last one-third of a grand prix distance. He said drivers should “definitely” be consulted about which tracks should hold sprint races in future.

“You need to choose the tracks carefully,” said the Alfa Romeo driver. “It’s still worth having a sprint here, but I think it could be in better places.”

Silverstone, Monza and Interlagos held last year’s sprint races. The latter will hold another this year, the previous two having taken place at Imola and the Red Bull Ring.

Bottas said he is still open to the idea of sprint races, but believes the latest venue might be an inferior choice to “for example, Silverstone.”

“So let’s see what they come up with,” he added.

The Alfa Romeo driver took no points from the last sprint race, finishing 10th. He doesn’t believe the sprint race format suits the team’s C42 chassis. “For us it definitely seems like the longer the race goes, the better it is for our car.

“I think we’re pretty good on the tyres. We initially struggled a bit to keep up with the cars ahead, but then it was vice-versa at the end.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2022 F1 season

Browse all 2022 F1 season articles

Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

Posted on Categories 2022 F1 season articles, F1 newsTags , , , ,

Promoted content from around the web | Become a RaceFans Supporter to hide this ad and others

  • 31 comments on “F1 should consult drivers on which tracks suit sprint races – Bottas”

    1. None of them.

      1. Yep, still my preference.

      2. Steve Mepham
        20th July 2022, 12:19

        Absolutely, if not less !!

    2. F1’s already consulting all the people they need to hear from.
      Accountants and marketing staff.

    3. Unbelievable!

      I would never have thought for one moment that the drivers hadn’t been asked for their opinions.
      They are the guys driving for ####’s sake.
      Who else would know better than them!?

      Yet another example of how much F1’s owners/organisers worship themselves.

      1. You aren’t actually surprised, are you?
        The drivers drive when, where and even how they are told to. That’s their job.

        Lots of people know better than them, anyway – but their opinions don’t matter either.

        1. @nullapax I too am surprised at your surprise. There are many many things drivers are not consulted on that one would think they should be.

          For me wrt to drivers and sprint races it would have been good if VB had given some examples and I would think many drivers would be thinking similarly. As well though, I wonder if different drivers would pick venues at which their cars are known or expected to be stronger. I think likely best left up to F1 and the race promoters based on that reality…that perhaps the drivers wouldn’t agree anyway.

      2. Drivers will only answer what tracks they believe it is best for their car and team to score some extra points, not what is actually best for the sport. It’s all political.

    4. Or they could ask the fans who would say none.

      1. Not all of them.
        Maybe not even half of them. Perhaps even fewer than that.

        1. This is going to be one of your usual threads where you will dismiss any evidence to the contrary with your usual response that, because you don’t like the results, the source must be wrong (often coupled with claims that indicate considerable ignorance of statistical methods)?

          1. Ah, here’s anon again. Wonderful.

            I haven’t dismissed any evidence, because there has been no evidence presented.
            Some fans will inevitably say they want no sprints. Some will say they do want them – a lot more of them even. Some won’t be too fussed either way. Some will even say they don’t want them, but will watch them all anyway, and often be glad that they did.
            Sensible ones will watch them and decide afterwards whether each individual one was decent or not, and consider how it influenced the rest of the event it was a part of – not reject it completely before, on principle.

            Listening only to the ones who say they want none would be quite unrepresentative and unproductive, wouldn’t it…?

            Honestly, I don’t really care what results from polls on F1 fansites say. I’ve got a fair idea what results most polls will come to anyway, based on who they are surveying and what the specific subject is, the timing of it, etc…
            Ask church-goers what they think of Jesus, and you can be pretty confident in what the general consensus will be long before the question is asked. You may even ask a specific question in a specific way in order to strengthen the results…

            1. Then perhaps believe F1’s own research that showed only 6.7% of fans said it improved the show.

              My guess is that you don’t believe anything that does not conform to your particular set of truths. Prices will rise, politicians will philander and F1 fans all believe the same thing that you do, ergo, you speak for all.

              The purpose of research is to learn, not to find validation for your belief.

            2. Then perhaps believe F1’s own research that showed only 6.7% of fans said it improved the show.

              You mean 6.7% of the people who responded to the poll? Just 6.7% of the people who went looking for a poll to answer…?

              I believe that asking a bunch of ‘fans’ about something they are very passionate about is likely to not give an accurate representation of the wider consensus, if that’s what you mean.

              The purpose of research is to learn, not to find validation for your belief.

              So let’s not jump to the conclusion that only 6.7% of F1’s entire (100m+) viewership thinks sprints are acceptable, yeah? The only people who would use that justification are people who don’t like them…. Right?
              All I’m saying is that 95% of F1’s audience hasn’t said (in these polls) what they want, so let’s not assume that the remaining 5% (of the most particularly obsessed and dedicated fans) accurately and representatively speak for them.

              Oh, and just on your final point…. You are aware how many polls and surveys are conducted for the specific purpose of validating a theory or viewpoint, right?
              Even in F1…..

            3. Can take that as a yes then – and predictably, you are also now getting angry at the idea that I am daring to exercise the right to have an opinion that you don’t want to hear, despite your protests previously insisting how important it was for you to be able to exercise that right.

              Meanwhile, you are still embarrassing yourself by showing that you really don’t understand how statistical methods work and that you really don’t need to ask everyone within a group to get a representative result.

              For all your ranting about others apparently being too reactionary for your tastes, you are frequently the most reactionary poster on this site, and the one who shows the most disdain towards evidence based reasoning in favour of your gut reaction.

            4. and predictably, you are also now getting angry at the idea that I am daring to exercise the right to have an opinion that you don’t want to hear

              I’m not angry at all – I’m having fun, actually. And I enjoy reading different opinions to my own.

              despite your protests previously insisting how important it was for you to be able to exercise that right.

              I have never said that someone should not share their opinion or that their opinion isn’t valid.
              I do indeed have the right to share an opinion, just as you do.

              Meanwhile, you are still embarrassing yourself by showing that you really don’t understand how statistical methods work and that you really don’t need to ask everyone within a group to get a representative result.

              I think you are.
              5% of the population is actually statistically highly unlikely to accurately represent the other 95%. Especially when collecting that information from a known group with vested interests.
              At no point have I stated that I know what everyone wants – all I’ve said on every occasion is that nobody else does either. Gather all the statistics and data you want – but if it doesn’t contain responses from everyone, it isn’t 100% accurate.
              Even if you did manage to get all that, the results can still be interpreted, selected and skewed to paint a specific picture anyway – especially in ‘official’ surveys where the organisation collecting the data is the one that ultimately makes money from their results.

              I just come here to talk and to read. If I provide a little balance along the way to dull the echo chamber, then it’s wins all round.

            5. S I take your point. I also wonder though if the numbers of those who like the sprint races/weekends is as high in reality as you are implying, but I do think it is higher than 6.7%. But speaking for myself I am absolutely fine with sprint weekends, and it seems the fans in attendance at such weekends are loving it.

              For me it’s that we get a regular qualifying session on Friday now making it a more enthralling day, then we get the excitement of a standing race start on Saturday, and then of course Sundays as always. I think I’d just like to see a little less parc ferme in between some of these sessions.

            6. I’m not really implying anything , @robbie.
              Just simply stating that it could be 6.7%, or it could be 2%, or it could be 89.3%. Nobody will ever know.
              But when you ask a (voluntary and specific) question, the people who respond are most likely those who feel most strongly about it.
              Those who don’t care as much – or are satisfied – are far less likely to seek out a question to respond to.
              People make more noise to the negative than they do in support of something. That’s humans for you.

              Where are most F1 polls? On F1 fansites.
              Who frequents F1 fansites the most? The most dedicated F1 fans do….

            7. I’m sorry S, I know our views considering sprint races don’t align, which is fine. However: your point about statistics is rather goofy. Technically your right: as long as you haven’t talked to every single F1 viewer on the planet not every single opinion is heard. But that’s an impossible task which such a big audience across the globe and that’s why research is done by sample.
              The 6.7% that’s brought up here is from the global fan survey F1 does every once in a while. That’s not a random poll thrown on a website, where people drop by just to rant about sprint races, but proper research done professionally.
              In the report I read that they set up the questionnaire in 15 languages and they got 167,302 responses from 187 different countries. The average time to fill out the form was 10m37, so it took some time and effort to voice an opinion about many things, among which was the subject of sprint races. Furthermore 34% of the audience followed the sport for less than 5 years. They reached a younger target audience too. Of course if you don’t care about global research done in a neat manner those numbers won’t really land, but if you do you can’t say it’s only the traditional fans either.
              As I said: I don’t mind the different opinion, but I do think your point of view regarding this survey doesn’t do the effort that went into it justice.

    5. Or even better: not hold them at all

    6. Why would they? this isn’t a sporting decision, it’s a finantial one…

    7. I think the original “promise” of sprint format was you’d have a short race of race with flat out racing, and that just hasn’t worked. Flat out, yes, racing no. I’ve still watched them, but I cannot remember a single one of them. I think my biggest gripe with them is that whoever does well in the sprint at that track will likely also do well in the main race, and vice versa, so it means that driver A might win the sprint and main race, 33 points, whilst at the next race, no sprint, driver B is dominant but only scores 25.

      1. Steve Mepham
        20th July 2022, 12:27

        Exactly, the fact that the introduction has skewed the overall GP championship results (and will do so even further if the number is doubled next year) is what I dislike most. Use them as a different way of deciding grid position, instead of normal qualifying if you must, but don’t allow them to dilute the championships!

      2. Flat out, yes, racing no… I think my biggest gripe with them is that whoever does well in the sprint at that track will likely also do well in the main race, and vice versa

        Thus is the basis of F1’s sporting side.
        The team that brings the most capable machinery generally has it all sewn up before the on-track competition even begins.

        Racing has never really been an F1 ‘thing.’ Not in the way it is in a spec series, or a series that prioritises technical/sporting equivalence, for example.
        And you could exchange the word ‘sprint’ with ‘qualifying’ too. The fastest qualifier is usually the fastest car of the weekend, GP included. Which, funnily enough, is exactly why the concept of reverse grids was floated….

    8. Monaco!

    9. I am sure there must be someone out there who gets excited at the prospect of a sprint race weekend but they seem to be pretty rare. I don’t especially hate the idea of them but I don’t think they are adding much.

      Your’d honestly think though that someone might have asked the drivers where they think might be the best venues to hold them. It just seems like common sense.

      1. You’d as in you would.

      2. @phil-f1-21 But might the drivers not agree and rather want to select venues that suit their particular car? And I’m not sure if all promoters want to field a sprint race weekend. Should they be forced into one because the drivers voted for said venue to have a sprint and F1 has decided it is up to the drivers?

        1. I did not say the drivers alone, should decide the venues for sprint races. I meant that perhaps it would be a good idea to consult them. If a circuit did not wish to hold one then that would be the end of the story.

          I also don’t think most drivers would just choose circuits which favoured their own cars. There is still a lot of uncertainty in advance of seasons and races on how a particular car would perform. There might be one or two who might try to steer things but I don’t think most of them would.

          1. Fair comment. You’re right that if they had to choose these venues ahead of the season, which is likely, the drivers might not know at the time what type of tracks would favour them. Would have been nice to hear some examples that VB has in mind.

    10. Go-kart courses.

    Comments are closed.