Sprint race start, Baku City Circuit, 2023

Rate the race: 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix sprint race

2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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What did you think of today’s sprint race? Share your verdict on the Azerbaijan Grand Prix sprint race.

RaceFans has held polls on every F1 race since 2008 to find out which fans thought of each round of the season.

Join in the latest poll and give your verdict on the race: 10 being the highest and 1 the lowest. Please vote based on how entertaining and exciting you thought the race was, not on how your preferred driver or team performed.

What were the best and worst moments of the race? What was the main thing you’ll remember about it? Rate the race out of ten and leave a comment below:

Rate the 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix sprint race out of 10

  • 10 (0%)
  • 9 (0%)
  • 8 (7%)
  • 7 (9%)
  • 6 (12%)
  • 5 (6%)
  • 4 (11%)
  • 3 (14%)
  • 2 (15%)
  • 1 (27%)

Total Voters: 104

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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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  • 55 comments on “Rate the race: 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix sprint race”

    1. The worst sprint so far. The early ones from 2021 were good, but more straightforward over time.

    2. (1) How is this supposed to be more entertaining than qualifying?

      (2) The FIA race director is incompetent.

      1. first corners were very entertaining

      2. Wholeheartedly agree – that had nothing on a quali session.

        25% of the race distance lost due to the Tsunoda incident. Could easily have been cleared in a couple of laps.

      3. I don’t get your point, you’re surely well aware of this, but it doesn’t replace qualifying, we have BOTH qualifying and the sprint race in such a weekend.

    3. Bit of nothing race for me. Everyone kind of knew the Red Bull would come through. Max limited by a bit of damage. But not a lot else going on, we know the softs are not possible tomorrow now I guess. Solid drives for most but nothing outstanding.

    4. Domenicali should be ousted.

      1. Yellow Barron
        29th April 2023, 17:25

        He’s an employee

        1. Fired. Let go. Released. Un-hired. Replaced. Transitioned to a new career.

    5. That was so boring and so meaningless… a practice session with points on offer. And it just spoils the race for tomorrow, because we know that Ferrari can’t fight the whole race against the Red Bulls so it’ll be business as usual.

      I’m going to say something I never thought I would but if they are insisting in going this way with the weekend format, just go all out and make it a reverse grid sprint race… because this is just pointless. I hate this format, but if they want it SO bad, just go crazy with it and give us something different…

      1. I have to disagree here. You can’t make a right with two wrongs.
        Please do not give in to this. You, me, everyone deserve more. This sport was a true beauty and can be like that again.

        1. They’ve been at destroying it for 30 years since introducing refueling. It’s like Hemingway’s description of going bankrupt in The Sun Also Rises. Gradually and then suddenly. We’re just now in the suddenly part.

        2. It can never be a beauty again. There’s no going back.

      2. Yes, I’m one of those who hated this race the least, as I gave it 7, but I also am in favour of reverse grid sprints, would give us more battles and meaningful overtakes, as in for the fastest driver on track it’s not so simple to overtake the 2nd fastest and so on.

      3. I’d be in favour of a nonsense reverse championship position Sprint on Friday afternoon, and leave Qualifying on Saturday.

    6. Utterly pointless – though unfortunately not in a literal sense.
      The only thing sprint races do, really, is make the actual GP performance of the cars, and so the resuilt, more predictable.

      1. To say “pointless” is aesthetically correct but there is another point that is missing.
        When drivers get F1 WC Points, they also get the privilege of paying around $2,230 (USD) to the FIA in the following year as part of their SuperLicense Fee.
        If they have a sprint race and points are “awarded”, then in the following year, every returning driver (with points) has to pay into their points fee-fund.
        End result, a Sprint race with points for the top 8 will garner just over $80,000 USD to the FIA.
        Look for the FIA to add more sprints and to add more points paying positions.
        I understood that Max had a pretty spectacular fee to pay for 2023. Naturally the team foots the bill, but it is an expense none the less.

    7. This is how you demolish interest in your sport. A whole day of the weekend wasted with sessions less interesting than friday practices.

      Just awful.

      1. I don’t see how they’re less interesting than practice, they’re battling, they’re going flat out, instead of cruising 2 sec off the pace, I will NEVER, ever watch a practice session.

        1. @esploratore1 – I think they are more boring than practice. In practice, you can at least see different cars at different times, there’s unknown factors like new parts, racing lines and fuel loads. With the sprint, I’m not convinced the drivers are flat out – they’re racing certainly but not racing hard and when they get out of the car no-one seems particularly excited or happy in contrast to after a quali or GP. Practice sessions need condensed I’d agree, but this sprint format was proven to be a predictable procession and has ruined the opening stint of the GP.

          For me practice sessions are about building up the weekend – making sure the teams give the best account of themselves on fully rubbered in tracks. The sprint feels like contextless action – you don’t watch an Agatha Christie TV show and fast forward to the last 15 minutes to find the answer as soon as possible – you want to build up the intrigue and suspense over a couple of hours.

    8. As most of these sprints go, they as entertaining as the usual opening laps of a grand prix but they peter out at the 2/3 point as this is usually the time pit stop strategy starts to play a role. Obviously no one is going to pit for an undercut with only 5 laps to go so they all just hold station. Gave it a 6 but I still don’t really see the point. Bring on the GP proper!

    9. Useless, and not worth a dedicated day of schedule.

    10. Decoupling the GP and the sprint was what people wanted, wasn’t?
      Well, this is what happens when the sprint isn’t very important.

      I’ll give it a 4 as there were at least a few things worth watching.
      It doesn’t change the GP one iota as we all know who is fast over a race distance and who isn’t.

      1. Not having the Sprint was what people wanted, no?

    11. I think what makes me hate this format the most is the drivers’ reactions. Perez won and cracked a half smile. The other 2 not particularly cheerful. If the drivers don’t care – why should we?

    12. I gave it a 2 for the first 3 corners, absolute snooze fest afterwards.

      I liked the format of the day but I’d prefer if they made it a half race distance sprint with 1 mandatory stop but use whatever tyres you like. I can see it being entertaining for spectators at the circuit.

      1. Speaking as someone who was at the circuit it was no better. Complete waste of a Saturday. So much wrong with this, it’s difficult to know where to start. Was never a fan of the sprint race setting the grid for Sunday, but having stoppthat, the Sprint is even more pointless than before. No wonder everyone held station. What’s the point of taking a risk for just one more point? Having downgraded the Sprint race to less than meaningless F1 should complete the downgrade by removing it completely or moving it to Friday, so they don’t waste our Saturday. And if you’re going to have a Sprint race don’t have it at a Street race with virtually guaranteed safety car. Dumb! I guess the race achieved one good thing – it revealed Versrappen’s true colours again. What a t**d. Baku crowd is already fiercely pro Mercedes. Picking a fight with St George is going to backfire, I promise you.

        1. I saw something like 20 overtakes, including positions like 13th!

    13. Rubbish “race” + rubbish SC + rubbish TV director = turd.
      Utter turd.

    14. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      29th April 2023, 15:28

      Absolute garbage. Sorry. Waters down the main event and was flat as a pancake as have nearly all sprints been. Less is more.

    15. Snooze fest which removes any interest in tomorrow. I know it’ll be an easy 1-2 based on pace with Leclerc 3rd. Hamilton, Alonso,Sainz “battle” with a DRS train for 30-40 laps and not much else of interest going on. I hope I’m wrong, but if the preview of the race was sending me to sleep I can’t see the 50+ laps being any more interesting

      1. Just wait until they throw 3 or 4 red flags. You’re going to love the chaos created by the standing restarts.

    16. Didn’t rate it, didn’t watch it. Took the missus for a nice walk and sandwich lunch at the beach; lovely sun and quite nice when out of the cold wind.

      We are now at a ridiculous 29 races in a season, and I have no intention of investing THAT much of my life on F1. Maybe I am not fan enough, but F1 has expanded way beyond my level of interest by now. I will watch a handful of races and retain a life.

    17. I’m in no position to vote, but it’s made the WEC race at Spa seem better than it already was.

      1. I switched back to WEC halfway through this. Although 6 hours is too much for me.

    18. 4/10 for sprint race
      Did F1 achieve what it was looking for in a crash heavy VSC/SC led sprint? As a long time F1 viewer I did not enjoy it a bit. The Red Bull car in race trim was dominant and tomorrow they will scamper away. Without damage Verstappen would have overtaken Charles. There were some good battles in the midfield though – Piastri overtaking Norris, Alonso overtaking Hamilton. The Russel overtake was rightfully explained by the Red Bull pitwall to Verstappen – Russel had nothing to lose.

    19. Superlative success: not only they change the weekend program, but set the sessions to unusual times, then half dozen cars got structural damages, and Aston Martin couldnt fix a DRS error they couldve if found in a FP session, and no proper racing was shown after a yellow flag neutralized a third of the race.
      Bonus: we already know soft tyres dont work – so tomorrow is a one stop race at best.

      1. At best? It’s not possible to have 0 stops, so can only be 1, like you said I also think it’s not even possible to do, for example, medium, medium, soft, cause they were so horrible they didn’t even perform from the start of the stint.

        1. @esploratore1 A wet race could be 0 stops.

    20. 9/10, would give it a 10/10 if we had red flags and standing restarts every 3 laps.

      1. This is coming in 2025: Super Super Sprintier – just three laps midnight wednesday pre FP1.

    21. Because of confusing timing I have missed so far every session and the Sprint Race.
      The fact that the Sprint Race revealed the real Race as potentially very boring makes me look forward to the real Race much less… and very possibly not wanting to tune at all.

      Congratulations F1.

      Now I will make sure to watch today’s IndyCar qualifying at Barber and tomorrow’s race for a proper motorsport experience.

      1. I missed both qualys because I didn’t knew sprint race qualy was today and qualy for the main race was yesterday morning

    22. Maybe next year, don’t schedule Baku, Imola, Monaco and Spain in (near) sequence.

      These four tracks are all dreadful for racing F1 cars on, no matter how long the race is.

    23. Logan Sargeant
      29th April 2023, 17:02

      Didn’t miss much

      1. Ahah, that’s a fun comment with that nickname and the circumstances!

    24. An aside: I really dislike (this TV Director): Panning dinks in the stands, frantic waves, T-shirts, flags, kids, etc. Non-value-added. If you gotta show people, show POed mechanics …

    25. 1/10 WEC race was more action packed

    26. I wish I could find something positive to say, but I find it difficult. Perhaps the extra dose of Ted’s Notebook?

    27. I thought I’d hold judgment and give it a chance. I even stayed up to watch. I won’t make that mistake again. Honestly, practice sessions are exciting. More build up and anticipation for qualifying and the race. This felt really unnatural and forced. I have little appetite left for the actual race. I’d rather have a good night sleep than stay up again.

    28. A sprint race is a joke, the kind of joke that it doesn’t make anyone laugh.

    29. 8 (6%)
      7 (8%)
      6 (10%)
      5 (7%)
      4 (12%)
      3 (11%)
      2 (14%)
      1 (32%)
      Total Voters: 84

      I don’t understand, I went with 7 and as you can see I’m also not among those who voted the highest, 1\4 of voters thought it was decent enough to deserve a 6 or higher, but an overwhelming majority didn’t like it or even hated it, 1\3 voting the mininum is terrible!

      I definitely prefer it to a practice session and I saw some interesting action, such as verstappen and russel’s battle, not giving in for 3 corners or something like that, leclerc vs perez, sainz vs hamilton, verstappen trying to close in on leclerc during the race and also at the finish line got really close, as well as some other midfield overtakes, even for places way out of the points.

      I have to say I hardly found any positive comment on the thread, so the quarter of users who considered this decent is silent, and maybe some of the 1s are out of spite cause of not wanting sprints, but there’s almost half the userbase who voted this between 2-5, which hints to genuine dislike.

      I have a feeling also that tsunoda took away the chance for leclerc to hold on to victory, by bringing out the SC: perez would’ve had it harder to overtake him if he hadn’t been able to close in to drs range.

    30. F1 is complicated enough as it is, and Sprint just makes it chaotic and frustrating to follow. This Sprint was a dud, dog-and-pony show, or as my wife put it ‘Like masturbation…its not the real thing’. I’m not old school particularly and didn’t mind the test of the format last season. I think it’s good to try new things, but it’s a farce now. Time to shelve it. Really.

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