Max sees sprint races as money-making idea

Date published: March 21 2021

Max Verstappen Red Bull PA

Max Verstappen is not convinced about sprint races in Formula 1 and thinks money is a strong motivation for them, rather than racing quality.

There is yet to be an official vote on ‘Sprint Qualifying’, which would see a 100km sprint race replace qualifying at three rounds of the 2021 calendar, forming the grid for Sunday’s grand prix.

A decision is set to arrive before the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, but recent reports suggested teams have concerns over the added costs sprint races could bring through potential car damage since they are all now operating under the $145m-per-season budget cap.

And Verstappen thinks sprint races are being considered in order to make money and give the race weekend format an excitement boost, as much as to improve the quality of racing.

If Formula 1 wants to create more overtaking and excitement, the Red Bull driver does not think these “games” are the right way to do it.

“The fastest cars still drive in front, so that remains a bit the same. It doesn’t matter how many games you organise on a weekend, I like one long race much more,” he told De Telegraaf.

“If good cars are just created and you can follow the car much better for you and make overtakes, you don’t need all these things.

“I think there’s more to this idea than just wanting to make racing better. They want more action over the weekend.¬†

“Now it is generally a bit boring on Friday and on Saturday until qualifying. They want to attract more people to the track and therefore make more money. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about. And I can understand that.”

Max Verstappen

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It is understood a solution being considered is a payment to each team which counters the potential increase in costs caused by sprint races. But there was a disagreement on the amount proposed, with teams thinking it should be much higher.

Reportedly, some of the bigger-spending teams suggested increasing the budget cap by $1million, an idea which did not sit well with the teams lower down the grid.

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