Christian Horner makes intriguing suggestion to spice up sprint race format

Sam Cooper
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner at the Austrian Grand Prix. Spielberg, June 2023.

Red Bull's Christian Horner has put forward a solution to the sprint format.

Christian Horner has floated the idea of a reverse top 10 and more points as possible fixes to the sprint format.

The format, which was first introduced in 2021, has come under increasing criticism for not only being boring but also ruining Sunday’s main event.

With reports of radical alternatives by F1, Red Bull boss Horner has put forward his own ideas.

Christian Horner suggests two sprint solutions

Horner’s Red Bull team has won seven of the 11 sprint races held so far but despite this success, he recognised it was leaving fans feeling disappointed.

Speaking ahead of the US GP, Horner suggested two alternatives as possible ways to add more excitement.

“I think you have got to add a bit more jeopardy to it,” he said.

“Whether you do a reverse the top 10 or something, but then you’ve got to add enough points to it to make it worth the drivers to really go for it.

“It still doesn’t quite feel [the same when] you win a sprint race. Obviously, it doesn’t mean quite as much as a grand prix, but I think that we’re in a process where we need to be open to change and evolution.

“I think that the concept is fine, but I think the execution: we can do a better job in making it more exciting for the viewer.”

It is his driver Max Verstappen that has been the most vocal critic, saying the Saturday race spoils Sunday’s, and Horner largely agreed suggesting it needed something to “tune it up.”

“I think that the concept of the sprint is still good, I just think the execution of it, I think it’s an opportunity to do something a bit different,” he said.

“I think that there’s still more that we could do. I don’t know, it needs some thought to tune it up.” recommends

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His Mercedes counterpart Toto Wolff was against any such suggestion, hinting that it takes away from the credibility of the competition.

“I’m conservative in racing,” he said. “I’d rather have no sprint races.

“Then if we start to meddle even more and do more reverse grid races, we’re going more to a format of junior formulas – sport follows entertainment, whilst entertainment should follow sport.”

“The attraction of F1 lies in having a true competition between teams. The honesty about the stopwatch is what attracts us. Creating artificial gaming around the sprint race on a Saturday is not the way that I would favour personally.

“But that’s my opinion. At the end, all teams together with Stefano [Domenicali] we just need to think is it the best for the sport.”

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