Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Red Bull Ring, 2023

Should the F1 world championship be decided by a 19-lap sprint race?

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Barring a total shock, Max Verstappen will clinch his third world championship at the next round.

But Verstappen’s lead after 16 of this year’s 22 events is so large he doesn’t need to wait until Sunday’s grand prix for his first chance to take the title.

The grand prix on Sunday pays a maximum of 26 points. But Verstappen only needs three more to put the title beyond doubt. He can reach that by finishing as low as sixth in Saturday’s sprint race.

It’s the first time a sprint race could decide the world championship. But they haven’t been a universally popular addition to the calendar: Several drivers have criticised them and Verstappen himself is one of the format’s strongest detractors/.

F1’s 10th sprint race could be its most significant to date. Has the format won you over and is the prospect of a Saturday title-decider a welcome innovation? Or is the prestige of a grand prix lessened when a shorter, side-show event crowns the champion?


When the 2023 F1 calendar was revealed it seemed a title-deciding Saturday race was exactly what Liberty Media wanted to see. Three of the final six events include sprint races.

But this year’s title contest has long been a foregone conclusion. So what does it matter if it’s decided in a sprint race?

Unless sprint races are only going to be held in the early part of the season, or not award points, F1 will have to accept the possibility that one of them could decide the world championship. They have been added to the calendar in order to encourage people to watch more F1, and a championship-deciding sprint race may help persuade viewers they are worth checking out.


Several arguments have been levelled against sprint races, none of which are addressed by the possibility the championship might be decided in one.

The races themselves are still too short with too little at stake to provide real action. The departure from a regular race weekend format is an unwelcome inconsistency, as is arbitrarily awarding extra points for certain rounds of the world championship: What makes Qatar’s race more important than Japan’s?

If anything, the likelihood the next sprint race will decide the championship demonstrates F1 was wrong to insist the format would not diminish the significance of grands prix. What could undermine the main event more than the knowledge that the

I say

If every round of the world championship had a sprint race, it would matter less to me if one of them decided the title. The race weekend format should be consistent, otherwise teams which are particularly competitive at certain types of tracks will benefit more than others.

But even if sprint races were ubiquitous, they feel too insubstantial to be worth awarding anything towards the world championship.

If F1 must have them, make them a separate series of events with their own championship. Then it can do whatever it likes with the sprint race format, and leave the classic world championship untainted by these insubstantial, desultory affairs which feel like they belong in a junior support series.

You say

Would a title-deciding sprint race be positive or negative for Formula 1? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

Is it positive or negative for Formula 1 if the championship is decided in a sprint race?

  • No opinion (3%)
  • Very negative (50%)
  • Slightly negative (15%)
  • Neutral (25%)
  • Slightly positive (3%)
  • Very positive (3%)

Total Voters: 146

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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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90 comments on “Should the F1 world championship be decided by a 19-lap sprint race?”

  1. The championship isn’t being decided by a sprint race.

    It’s been decided by all the races that came before it that means only 3 more points are needed to have an unbeatable lead.

    Whether you like sprint races or not, I don’t think winning the championship at one is anywhere close to the biggest problem with them.

    1. There have been difficulties trying to explain this concept of a what a single race is vs what a season is before. Albeit this is not considered a race to many.

      1. The championship isn’t being decided by a sprint race.

        It may not necessarily be (e.g. if Perez wins and Verstappen doesn’t score in the sprint race) but it can be decided that way and it is likely to be.

        I don’t know why anyone would take ‘decided by a sprint race’ to mean ‘awarded only on the strength of a sprint race and ignoring everything else which went before it’, which is obviously neither what was meant or written.

        1. notagrumpyfan
          1st October 2023, 9:41

          I don’t know why …

          Well you fuelled it yourself.
          First you tweet some nonsense, and even promote it on your own site (a trained professional might have an opinion about that):

          Remember when F1 introduced sprint races and said they wouldn’t allow them to devalue the significance of grands prix?
          Well, nothing would devalue a grand prix more than this

          And now you vein surprise that people see your ‘devaluing a Grand Prix’ comment as ignoring what happened in the Grand Prix races.
          It might not be identical, but you did a good job fuelling those beliefs.

          (I wonder how long this comment lasts)

          1. This comment has lasted far too long.

          2. If the championship is won in what happens to be a sprint race, then it was the decider, the conclusion of the championship, the end, its finished, done and dusted, wrapped up, completed.

            So the championship could very well be ” decided by a sprint race”

            Just like the ” weather can decide a tennis match……….”
            Or ” Tims mistake decided the match……. “

          3. They are too lazy to get rid of this comment. You’ve seen the grammar? They never bother fixing that either.

        2. I don’t know why anyone would take ‘decided by a sprint race’ to mean ‘awarded only on the strength of a sprint race and ignoring everything else which went before it’, which is obviously neither what was meant or written.

          That’s what the word “decide” implies, though.
          If you’d said “Should the F1 championship be (able to be) finalised during a sprint race” then I don’t think you’d get this reaction.
          As noted – the championship result was decided many months ago in reality, and is only now being mathematically finalised.

        3. Perez wins
          In other words, it’s not going to happen.

        4. Coventry Climax
          1st October 2023, 19:36


          I don’t know why anyone would take ‘decided by a sprint race’ to mean ‘awarded only on the strength of a sprint race and ignoring everything else which went before it’, which is obviously neither what was meant or written.

          Though I understand perfectly what you meant to say, it’s the choice of one, single word that makes the meaning different, which also means you did write that:
          What you meant to say is: ‘decided IN a sprint race’, instead of ‘by‘.

          I’m not a native english speaker, or maybe it’s even because of that?
          While Im at it: Shouldn’t it also be ‘neither meant nor written’?

          People don’t like being ‘attacked’ on their language, and I can understand that, but sometimes small ‘errors’ lead to big consequences. Just look at the any/all discussion here.

          1. well said

          2. “Decided in a sprint race” does make more sense in this context than “decided by a sprint race” – of course the championship is decided by who has the most points from all of the races and fastest laps.

            As to the debate in the article, this is presumably an unwanted consequence of awarding points for these sprints. I doubt anyone wants it to happen on a Saturday but also I don’t think anyone will care very much this year (except maybe red bull’s marketing team and verstappen himself). Personally, I’d much rather see the points system radically simplified (10-6-4-3-2-1 was nice and easy from an arithmetic point of view) and the sprint races run without any points being awarded but I can’t see that happening. I’ve also suggested they run the sprints in cars other than F1 (Ford fiesta being my first choice) but somehow can’t see that happening either!

    2. The championship isn’t being decided by a sprint race. It’s been decided by all the races that came before it

      Why can’t more people recognise this most basic of facts?
      The championship was decided months ago – arguably even last year or the year before – and whether it is mathematically finalised in a sprint race or not is completely missing the most important point about it.

      As I said the other day – ‘we‘ collectively should be way more concerned that it’s already long over and done with with this many events still remaining.

      1. That’s not a ‘concern’. That’s symptomatic of a set of technical regulations that allow engineers enough room to breathe. Sometimes a team nails it, and that’s a good thing. Having championships that go to the wire ‘by design’ is a quick way to discredit any sporting activity. Sometimes they are close, sometimes they are not. That’s the ebb and flow of F1.

        1. Having championships that go to the wire ‘by design’ is a quick way to discredit any sporting activity.

          Of course it isn’t. What a silly thing to say.
          As discussed yesterday – F1 is competition by ‘design’ for the sake of entertainment and marketing.

          You won’t hear anything official from Liberty about it, of course, but F1’s viewing figures for the rest of this season will be dreadful. There’s nothing left to play (or watch) for, other than the sake of putting on a show for the remaining event promoters, advertisers and those ‘fans’ who feel they simply can’t miss even a minute of F1.

          1. I agree with most of people’s view here. It’s not been decided by a sprint race, it was over the course of the season. I think people can see through when the website is trying to push a specific agenda with the loaded headline. It’s ok not to like Sprint or DRS. It’s not ok to push your personal agenda, that’s not cool, and people are calling you put on that @keithcollantine

      2. As I said the other day – ‘we‘ collectively should be way more concerned that it’s already long over and done with with this many events still remaining.

        Apart from the transitional year 2021 this has become rather default since the Hamilton period (and the 4 years Vettel before too). Don’t understand why this is all of a sudden a concern. I would say it has already been a concern for a long time and is maybe inevitable given the nature of the competition.

        1. Don’t understand why this is all of a sudden a concern.

          It’s not. It has become increasingly common – but only in the last couple of decades.

          I would say it has already been a concern for a long time and is maybe inevitable given the nature of the competition.

          It shouldn’t be inevitable and needn’t be the nature of F1 at all. That’s the point.
          More should be done to prevent it – even if that means taking undesirable steps to achieve it.

          1. i think reliability is the real problem here.

  2. The article title is not – in my opinion – anything like the same as the question being asked by the poll.

    Personally – as per the article title – I do not think it is wrong that the sprint race may be the “decider” given that we know full well that if forms part of the chamionship.

    However this does not mean it is a positive development for F1, and I feel I could hold the above view whilst simultaneously beliving it is very negative.

    This really was a question to be asked when sprint races and the associated championship points were first introduced.

    1. This really was a question to be asked when sprint races and the associated championship points were first introduced.

      That was the point at which the majority gave a resounding no to “sprint” and F1 officialdom put up a survey, only to close it down when the early results showed how much the fans disliked it.

      The situation as it stands is slightly misrepresented by this:

      The grand prix on Sunday pays a maximum of 26 points. But Verstappen only needs three more to put the title beyond doubt.

      I say misrepresented because the situation is that Verstappen actually needs zero points, he just needs to finish in front of Perez even if that is out of the points.
      At the time of the GP start, there will be too few points available (172) to outscore Verstappen (177 ahead) even if he then did a DNF on every event to the end of the season.

      1. he just needs to finish in front of Perez even if that is out of the points

        Not even that. To keep the championship alive Chevo needs at least to be third in the sprint even if Max scores 0. And of course if both do not score the championship is over no matter who finished ahead. In a word Checo needs to score at least 6 pts more than Max.

    2. That makes a lot of sense yeah @cairnsfella.

  3. It’s neither positive or negative that it’s being completed during a sprint race (and it may not – nobody knows what will happen, even if we all expect it).
    It is what it is – merely the result of one of the many competitive sessions throughout the season contributing to the championship.

    Let’s not get overly emotional about it.

  4. The championship is never decided by a single race, I don’t care which was the last one that mattered (especially since we know all there is to know for months now).
    I have a problem with sprints in general, that they still have them. They should have been cancelled swiftly, like that weird qualy format a few years ago. That’s an old story though, but my opinion hasn’t changed.

    1. I am afraid we are building up to every weekend a Sprint race for the future however. Sprint race is a means to make even more money with a franchise for Liberty and that’s been their objective and reason for buying the franchise. It’s another entertainment IP for them. It would be silly to measure their actions vs what is good for a sport as they don’t consider F1 a sports primarily. The sport is a vehicle, the show is the core.

  5. Sprint races, in any form, are an abomination in the context of F1. Whether they decide a championship is secondary to that really. If Verstappen wins the WDC on the Saturday it’ll not doubt be used to justify a separate ‘Sporting Championship’ but that makes me even more queasy.

  6. What kind of nonsense are you talking about? With Rewd Bull’s dominance this year, it’s anyone’s guess when he’ll win the title. It’s only a matter of time.

  7. I have never watched a sprint race and I won’t be for the foreseeable future. So if it is decided in a sprint race it will be the first time I have not seen a champion crowned since 1991. But I’m sticking by my decision.

  8. Similar to fastest lap points deciding a championship.

    1. Guessing the fastest lap points could’ve played a hand in the 2021 world championship decider: verstappen was in a situation where they had the same points, but in case they retired he’d have won on countback, and both drivers several times went for the FL point when possible.

      If verstappen had missed even just a FL point over the season, hamilton would’ve been in a situation where he’d have been champion had they both retired, this means hamilton could’ve raced verstappen more aggressively in abu dhabi, while in reality the situation was reversed.

  9. I think it’s making a big deal out of nothing. If the points from a sprint race clinches a driver the title it’s very clear that it’s been a dominant season. It’s the arguments that those against sprint races will make because they don’t like the sprints. But the reality is that F1 isn’t going to ditch sprint races at this point.

    I’d rather see sprint races not contribute to driver points. That way they can use the sprints to experiment and do something different with no sporting consequences. But to make grandiose claims that Max mathematically securing the title on Saturday somehow ruins the integrity of the championship is nonsense.

    1. True on all points but don’t be surprised if Max start last and retire his car after the first lap to save his car…

  10. notagrumpyfan
    1st October 2023, 9:24

    If there were no Sprint races, then the WDC would’ve been decided after Japan.
    We are lucky that we didn’t just get a meaningful race in Japan, but an exciting two weeks to prepare for another meaningful weekend in Qatar (and maybe beyond).

    The only annoying part is the constant moaning about the WDC being possibly decided after a Sprint race.

    1. If there were no Sprint races, then the WDC would’ve been decided after Japan.

      Which honestly would have been better as at least then the championship would have been decided at an amazing venue with a great atmosphere in front of a knowledgable, dedicated & passionate group of fans rather than at a nothing track in a desert that will be devoid of that same sort of crowd & atmosphere.

  11. Better question is should there be sprint races at all – my answer NO.

    Without sprint races Max would have been champion in Japan this despite Max scoring 22 out of 24 available sprint race points.

  12. Please, abolish these dreadful sprint races immediately.

  13. A title CONFIRMATOR, not a decider since there is nothing to decide.

    1. Yes, this is the better term in this one case.

      1. Isn’t this semantics? I am not saying my view is the right view, but I always thought people used the term ‘decider’ for any sporting event where the winner is confirmed.

        1. “Decider” is typically used when both/all competitors can win to ‘decide’ (or determine) the ultimate result – not when the outcome is merely a formality.

          1. You disagree with my understanding….. Collins agrees…..

            I’m okay with that.

          2. From Collins dictionary:

            NOUN – the point, goal, game, etc, that determines who wins a match or championship

            “Wins” is such a debatable factor in choosing which definition of the word is most accurate – to the point at which “decider” isn’t even the right word here.
            Arguably, last year’s Pre-Season testing was the decider.

  14. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    1st October 2023, 9:49

    In theory, it shouldn’t be decided by a sprint race. But in a year where one driver has won just about everything there is to win, it really makes no difference.

    If he wins the title by winning a sprint race, it’s just the next thing he wins. If there were no sprints, he’d still win it as a full blown grand prix. It makes literally no difference.

    Now, if this were a closer title battle between multiple drivers then I’m sure the pool results would be more in favour of the negative, but it’s not, so the results indicate most people don’t care.

  15. Sandwhichands
    1st October 2023, 9:54

    The sport is dependent on spectacle to some extent, and a sprint race concluding the championship doesn’t quite have the same spectacle. If that’s the argument, then I fully agree. But points are points. This isn’t a sport with a grand final (excluding limited circumstances) so winning in a sprint is totally reasonable. Boring but reasonable.

  16. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
    1st October 2023, 10:10

    Sprint races are very negative full stop. Flat as a pancake, over saturation, dulls the Sunday, confuses the whole format of the weekend.

  17. Electroball76
    1st October 2023, 10:15

    Rules is rules (except where dodgy decisions or bribery make them change). Rules say sprint race is part of the season points, so if he wins it here then it is ok. Everyone had access to the same points, it was just Max who took the most.
    Hopefully the rest of the season will be fun once the pressure is off.

  18. Of course it’s a negative for the sport, because in F1 sprint races aren’t a sporting contest. They are a 100km-long parade in which everyone tries to get to the end without breaking anything that might cost them a serious chance of points in Sunday’s race.

    Even separating sprints into their own championship, as Keith suggests, will not fix this fundamental flaw in the sprint race concept, and might conceivably make it even worse. The only possible solution would be to allow teams to bring along separate cars and spares purely for use in the sprint races, but this would obviously be extremely expensive and directly contradict F1’s stated environmental goals. So really, the concept as a whole is unworkable and should be abolished.

  19. Colin Spencer
    1st October 2023, 10:41

    I would like to contribute to this poll but yet again I cannot login and emails to admin to resolve the issue have gone unanswered!!!

    1. the same!!

  20. I put ‘Very negative’ for the simple reason that I can’t abide sprint ‘races’ and they simply shouldn’t exist to be a factor in point accumulation at any stage of any season. It’s so incredibly tedious that they bump qualifying for Sunday races to Fridays when not everyone can watch, then squander whole Saturdays on half-hearted 100km processions only taken seriously because of the points on offer. I get how, in theory, you get more action, more standing starts, more qualifying down the order and coming through the field etc, but it hasn’t outgrown a feeling of being incredibly contrived and that anything that happens doesn’t really count or feel the same as when it happens during a full strategic contest on Sunday.

    I agree that this article could have been worded a little more carefully but it’s mostly semantics to quibble over ‘decided’ or ‘finalised’ or ‘confirmed’. I, too, agree that a Championship isn’t won over a single moment and is an accumulation of a season’s work, but that said, if we have a Champion crowned on a Saturday during a ‘race’ that isn’t really a race and not held on race day (Sunday), I will be truly disappointed, as much for what I used to enjoy about F1 as anything.

    Change is inevitable and it’s all too easy to don the rose-tinted glasses about F1 eras past, which were all imperfect in their own way and had issues just as glaring as this feels right now, but I’m not sure anything would be lost if sprint ‘races’ were quietly dropped and they tried something else instead.

  21. As much as I hate F1 Sprint races, they have Championship points available which contribute to the the drivers tally.

    In this instance, taking the sprint races out of accord, Max would already be WDC, even with the FL point as shown below.

    Championship Points without Sprint and Fastest Lap points would be:
    Max 371. Checo 206
    Remaining – 150

    Championship Points without Sprint points would be:
    Max 378, Checo 208
    Remaining 156

    Championship points with all additional points
    Max 400, Checo 223

  22. It obviously doesn’t matter this year but I wouldn’t like a contested championship to end on a sprint or fasted lap.

  23. When the 2023 F1 calendar was revealed it seemed a title-deciding Saturday race was exactly what Liberty Media wanted to see. Three of the final six events include sprint races.

    It seems more like a backdoor reintroduction of the double points races, which were meant to draw out the title battle as long as possible because a decided championship is a huge turn-off for viewers, and the broadcast partners don’t like it – nor do the organizers who pay extra fees to ensure an end of the calendar slot.

    FOM initially wanted three of such races in 2014, which became just one after discussions with the teams and the FIA, making Hamilton the only driver in all of F1 history to take 50 points in a single race.

  24. absolutely NO! I was sure this was going to happen at certain point, expecially with 3 sprint remeining with 6 races to go…totally stupid

  25. José Lopes da Silva
    1st October 2023, 16:07

    As I don’t have no special concern about the sprint races, I had to be neutral on this one.
    I don’t sprint races add real excitement, but they don’t bother me.

    What bothers me is the qualifying format. The same way there’s a chap that isn’t going to watch the title decision for the first since 1991, I basically stopped watching the qualifying since this stunt show of cars racing to the deadline started, because it does not allow me to effectively watch them qualify, battling with the cars. I just check the results and watch whatever great lap was produced afterwars.

    Now, the sprint race? Doesn’t bother me. They could do a championship with junior drivers? Well, they could have 15 teams and 30 drivers, instead of 20.

    Fortunately Alonso is talking about the qualifying system. Maybe they can do something.

  26. I don’t like sprint races and wish they’d get rid of them but I don’t have any issue with this. Sprint race gives points and anything that can give points can decide a championship. Theoretically, getting a fastest lap can also decide a championship since it also gives an extra point that can be the one to mathematically clinch it.

    If F1 must have sprint races, then I rather they give points and that means situations like clinching a championship. It’s still a race between cars, and I have no issue with that deciding a title.

  27. I’m entirely ‘neutral’ on this matter, hence my vote choice.
    Ultimately, I don’t see a reason for any fuss about a championship getting clinched in a sprint rather than an actual race.

    1. @jerejj
      What about in qualifying like F3 this year?

      1. José Lopes da Silva
        1st October 2023, 23:07

        What about decided by a fastest lap?
        What about decided on a Friday, like F1 in 1987?

  28. The main shortcoming to me is that, whatever we all think about the nature and quality of the sprint races, they are obviously not the “main event” at a GP weekend. A boxing promoter would clearly not want the evening’s biggest moment to happen before the main event on the bill, and I am surprised that Liberty would want to build precisely that possibility into the schedule.

    1. José Lopes da Silva
      1st October 2023, 23:07

      If that’s the case and you don’t like the sprint races, pray for that to happen!!

      1. I didn’t say a single word indicating whether I like the sprints or not. Please read my post more carefully and you will see I wrote “*whatever* we all think”. I’m just saying I am surprised that Liberty would want to deliberately schedule the risk of running the main event of the weekend – i.e. the Grand Prix race itself – with the climactic moment already done and dusted the day before.

        1. José Lopes da Silva
          2nd October 2023, 14:10

          But that’s why I said “If”. People who dislike the sprint races should aim for them to fail.
          Sorry for the confusion, anyway.

          1. Apology accepted, José, and I understand the point you’re making, but I don’t think it changes my own point, because I don’t think Liberty will see it as a case of the sprints failing if the title is settled at one if them. It’s quite a stretch, after all, to imagine a mega-successful media company could plan a schedule with clear potential consequences and then, if those consequences come to pass, say afterwards “oh dear, what a failure”.
            What I keep repeating is that my point is not about the sprint races. They could decide to run the Qatar sprint on horseback and it still wouldn’t be about the sprint races.
            So it’s not a question if the sprint races succeeding or failing.
            My point is about the scheduling.
            And my overriding point – *my* overriding point, please note, nobody else’s – is simply that I’m surprised that Liberty would actively choose that schedule. At the end of the day, they are the ones who have made millions out of being a mega-successful media company, not me. They know much more about media management than me, I happily accept that. But it doesn’t stop little old layperson me having the right to be very surprised that such a company would *want* to run the risk of detracting from the main event in this way.

  29. Of course it should. That’s what sprints do, extend the superiority of the best even further.

  30. There’s an expectation the season champion in a sport should show a complete range of skills expected in that sport. Some sports specifically expect competitors to have a wide range of skills, e.g. in the Olympics there are sports like the Pentathlon, Heptathlon and Decathlon, where someone has to be good at a range of sports, any of which could result in a person winning the Gold Medal. Like it or not, driving in Sprint races contributes to both a team’s points and a driver’s points, so there is an expectation of team work and driving skill in this format. The fact someone might clinch the World Drivers’ Championship at a Sprint Race was always a possibility when this format was added to the F1 competition.
    I don’t see why there’s a fuss about the possibility of Max clinching the WDC title for 2023 in a Sprint Race. We saw a race a few years ago when supposedly the wheel nut on a car wouldn’t come undone and that driver, who was destined to finish on the podium, couldn’t rejoin the race. So quick changing of wheels is an expected skill in F1 Races, but this skill isn’t normally expected in Sprint Races. This is the nature of this competition.

  31. I put neutral since there wasn’t a choice for “Dumb question”.

  32. There could have been a valid debate here. Unfortunate that it’s gone the way of clickbait headlines and cheap shots instead.

    1. José Lopes da Silva
      1st October 2023, 23:14

      It’s gone the way of clickbait headlines and cheap shots instead because it could not have been a valid debate. I have great respect for Racefans and I understands that we must have articles like this. But the sprint race is on, counts points, so decides championships. What could have here different?
      We don’t want to return to something like Bernie’s 2014 quack, right?

  33. It’s a points scoring event in the FIA Formula One World Championship. The possibility was there from the instant the Powers That Be decided to award points.

    Here’s one even more daft– if we have a close season finish, fastest lap could determine the winner.

    Then again, if Max had a better showing at Singapore, he’d be champion already, so really, does it matter?

  34. Coventry Climax
    2nd October 2023, 0:31

    Let’s name the sprint races for what they really are: small prix.
    So the F1 World Grand Prix Driver Championship will be decided during a small prix.
    For me, to see there’s even still people defending it, is too bizar for words.

  35. It is irrelevant, when a driver has enough points to declare him World Champion it is done. Only issue is when and how do you celebrate this on track. There is no podiumceremony after a sprint race. Maybe this can change, only for these cases, in the future.

    1. Drivers Like Button became champion finishing 5th or something, so there never was a podium ceremonie for a champion.

      1. Good point. There is only a party, the WDC get’s some gifts.

  36. I’m not too fussed, for this season at least. I might feel differently if it was a down to the wire championship and a sprint on the final Saturday of the year decided it. For 2023 though, the championship was decided from the moment Max took his 5th consecutive race victory, let’s be honest.

  37. Classic F1 fandom to invest time debating the pedantry of the language rather than to investigate the subject matter.

    The truth is, almost every poster here is totally infatuated with F1 and has known Max would win this title from the middle of last year. But if we cast our net a little wider, the casual fan who follows via highlights and rarely looks at the news between races, will go into this weekend expecting the Championship to be decided on the Sunday and follow the coverage with the excitement that the title is still open. Instead they’ll see a muted highlights reel from a third distance race and be completely underwhelmed. That’s the position we’ve been put in – it’s like a football team winning by their rival dropping points. The spectacle is lessened, in football it’s unavoidable – in F1 we’ve actively tried to achieve it. It’s embarrassing.

    1. the casual fan who follows via highlights and rarely looks at the news between races, will go into this weekend expecting the Championship to be decided on the Sunday and follow the coverage with the excitement that the title is still open.

      As if they wouldn’t have seen the last GP to know when and how the championship would be finalised…
      And even if this coming event is the first they’ve seen of F1 for the season (or ever) then they won’t know or care about the championship situation, so it would make absolutely no difference to their perception of it.

      The ‘pedantry’ isn’t just about a choice of word/s – it’s also about the fact that the championship is already long finished in reality and it really doesn’t matter exactly when is becomes ‘officially official.’
      Even worse is thinking that is alters the importance, excitement or overall experience of the individual event (in and of itself) that will take place regardless of any championship implications.

      1. I don’t agree with that at all. The spectacle of a championship win is about the unbridled joy of the achievement. Even early wins – Hamilton in Mexico, or Schumacher in France hold a special celebration that makes the accomplishment more impressive than the rigmarole of a mathematical confirmation. All fans, but especially casual fans, enjoy title wins outlining the teamwork and community spirit, not a muted “we’ve got work in the morning and today was a universally disliked procession”.

        Most titles have a fairly clear conclusion. In the past 25 years the title has went to the last race 10 times and been won by the trailing driver 3 times. So becoming official always matters, the sport is built on dominant eras and the success and the celebration should always be memorable. It must detract from the race weekend if one team has won the title the night before with no chance to truly enjoy it. It must undervalue an event if win is not viewed by the maximum possible audience.

        For years we didn’t offer a point for pole to avoid this exact scenario, Liberty have organised 3 sprint races after the 7th of October. They’re engineering this to bring credibility to the format. I hate the sprints for various reasons but championship wins should not be settled on a Saturday where it can be avoided. Not only could we avoid it, we’ve went out of our way to make it happen. It’s poor management of the sport to justify an unpopular decision and the casual audience won’t think about it, they’ll just miss it decreasing engagement.

        Where is the upside here?

  38. Sprint races haven’t added anything to F1, contrary to what their biggest cheerleaders say. A championship being decided in a sprint race would just be another underlining of the current mess F1 is allowing itself to get in to.

  39. Completely neutral on this one.

    I’m still not sold on the idea of the Sprint Races but to me that is a side issue & it basically doesn’t matter here.

    In 1987 the championship ended in Friday Qualifying when Mansell crashed & was injured so couldn’t race. Far from “ideal” but it is what it is – the championship ends when the championship ends.

    I think adding to my neutrality is that, we’ve known for months that Max will win the championship anyway, so there’s no jeopardy here.

    If it was the last round of the season and we were risking the championship ending a day too soon then perhaps that would be more of a shame but even so… when it’s won, it’s won.

  40. Is it really that much worse than a driver becoming a champion by finishing 7th in the penultimate race or something?

    Btw: I’m not a fan of sprint races by any means, but everybody knew that when there are points to be won at sprint races you can become a champion through sprint races.

  41. Championship was decided long time ago

  42. Points are awarded in sprint races, so why not a sprint race could decide the title? In fact, the possibility of close out the championship in a sprint race seems to be a lot more interesting than what happened in 1987, when Mansell crashed in qualifiyng…

  43. Sergey Martyn
    2nd October 2023, 16:30

    Please stop these stupid sprint races.

  44. been saying since the beginning. sprint should be a separate prize. its points should have zero impact on the championship.

  45. I don’t think it matters this season. Max’s WDC had been inevitable since the summer break. The fact that he scores the critical points during a sprint race isn’t going to make it any more anticlimactic. I think the sprint races are a terrible concept so I still voted “very negative” because I think the presence of sprint races on the calendar alone is very negative for F1.

    I do think this again shows how silly F1 is to refuse to call the sprint race a race. Because of this mental gymnastics Max is going to win the WDC because of the results of a non-race. Just get rid of these sprint races already they make the organizers seem like amateurs.

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