F1 bosses accused of chasing ‘more excitement and more crashes’

Michelle Foster
Smoke fills the air after an accident at the restart. Australian GP Melbourne April 2023.

Smoke fills the air after an accident at the restart. Australian GP Melbourne April 2023.

Eddie Jordan has accused F1 bosses of chasing “more excitement and more crashes” with the revised sprint weekend format, one that has set up Saturday’s action as a standalone event.

Formula 1 introduced sprint weekends in 2021, the sport running a shortened race on the Saturday to determine the grid for Sunday’s race.

That was met with criticism, as the drivers were overly cautious, not wanting to risk a crash that would relegate them to the back of the grid for Sunday’s all-important grand prix.

As such Formula 1 bosses have made the call to tweak the format for this season. Friday evening’s qualifying will now be the session that sets the grid for Sunday’s race while Saturday is a standalone event with sprint shootout in the morning setting the grid for the sprint race in the afternoon.

Points will be awarded for the race with eight for the winner, seven for second and so on down to eighth place.

It is hoped that will make the Saturday morning exciting but according to former team boss Jordan, all F1 is doing is trying to create more crashes.

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Speaking to David Coulthard on the ‘Formula for Success’ podcast, Jordan said: “It’s confusing. How are we going to get the people to get that?

“I’ll ask you a question. Why? For what reason?

“What they are doing is giving the game away because they want more starts because they think there is more excitement and more crashes at the beginning.

“It’s not similar to what happened in Australia, three starts.

“It’s wrong. It’s a farce.

“Get back to what we know is best, let the best man win. That could backfire on us, easily backfire on us.”

Questioning whether a driver would look at the big picture or be in the red mist moment, Jordan said: “Heroes come out.”

He added: “It’s a little bit scary that we’re looking for a quick fix, we’re just looking for excitement, excitement, excitement.

“I think the purity of the racing that needs to also be considered. It’s a farce.”

Jordan isn’t the only F1 personality questioning the FIA’s new format.

Former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher told Sky Germany of the new format: “I think it’s very good for us and the viewers. But for Formula 1 itself, for the mechanics, drivers, everything around it, the engineers, it’s a greater burden, no question.

“At some point, the question arises of how many races the Formula 1 format can handle.

“I don’t know if more races on the weekend and fewer in number is actually clever.”

But despite his reservations, the 47-year-old is “definitely looking forward to it. It’s a street circuit where we’ll see a lot of overtaking manoeuvres, and whether the drivers hold back? I don’t think so.”