Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton share opposing views on F1 Sprint format

Michelle Foster
Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen discuss the Sprint race.

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton share opposing views on F1 Sprint format

Not often in agreement, Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton also have two contrasting views on Sprint weekend with the Red Bull driver sarcastically saying he “loves it” while Hamilton admits for him it’s “fun”.

Verstappen stormed to his third Sprint victory of this season at the Circuit of The Americas on Saturday, the Dutchman winning from lights to flag.

Such was his pace on the day he took the chequered flag by 9.4s ahead of Hamilton despite it only being a 19-lap race.

Max Verstappen has won three of this season’s five Sprints

But don’t think his success in the shortened events has changed his opinion of Sprint weekends.

“Love it. It’s fantastic!” he sarcastically said after winning Saturday’s Sprint.

“If you want my honest opinion about the sprint weekends, I don’t really get excited by it. In qualifying, I just feel like once you complete qualifying, you’re a bit lost. I feel like we only need one qualifying in the weekend where you really put everything on the line and it feels great.

“This morning as well, like you put it on P1 but I’m like it’s a Saturday, there’s not many points anyway for the race. And besides that, like now, we’ve done this race, everyone more or less knows what’s going to happen tomorrow between all the cars in terms of pace, so that takes a bit of the excitement away from it.

“If we wouldn’t have done today and we only had that qualifying that we had yesterday, you don’t really know what’s going to happen before the race, so everyone is very excited, turning on the TV because you don’t know and also we didn’t know. Now we know, a little bit…”

Sitting next to him in the press conference having finished second, Hamilton responded: “Sounds like you’re a bit bored.”

Verstappen denied that, saying: “I’m not bored but if I would be a fan, I would just be disappointed because then you more or less know about the picture. If nothing crazy happens, you know what’s going to happen tomorrow so I find that a bit…

“It takes away that magic of waking up on a Sunday morning or whatever, Sunday afternoon, and you turn on the TV and you’ve had qualifying but you’re not sure which car is going to be quickest in most of the years and yeah, it takes that magic away, I find.” recommends

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Hamilton, however, pointed out it was different for Red Bull and Verstappen’s rivals as they’re in the thick of the action.

Although Hamilton did try to challenge Verstappen at the start of the Sprint race, eventually he fell out of DRS range before coming home 9.4 seconds behind.

“It’s a slightly different perspective when you’re chasing so for us it’s fun. For me, it’s fun,” said the Mercedes driver.

“I like having the extra opportunity to get out there and try to squeeze everything, every little bit and more out of the package that we have. Can it be better? I’m sure we can learn.

“I think it’s been exciting for people so I personally quite like the sprint weekends, particularly a Friday I really like where you only have one practice session and then you’re straight into qualifying.”

Read next: US Grand Prix: Max Verstappen eases to Sprint victory ahead of Lewis Hamilton