Sebastian Vettel’s not in favour of six sprint races, ‘way to make more money’

Michelle Foster
Sebastian Vettel heads through the paddock. Melbourne April 2022.

If you were wondering then wonder no more, Sebastian Vettel is clearly not a fan of sprint races calling them a “way to make more money” for F1.

Formula 1 introduced sprint races in 2021 with a short 100km race on the Saturday at Silverstone, Monza and Interlagos that set the grid for the grand prix with the top three also awarded points.

As the sport’s powers-that-be tweaked it for 2022, that was expanded to the top-eight finishers with once again three sprints taking place.

But with F1 managing director Ross Brawn claiming that “every promoter wants to have a sprint”, that number will increase to six sprints in 2023.

Confirming the increase in numbers, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said: “I am pleased that we can confirm six sprints will be part of the championship from 2023 onwards, building on the success of the new format introduced for the first time in 2021.

“The sprint provides action across three days with the drivers all fighting for something right from the start on Friday through to the main event on Sunday – adding more drama and excitement to the weekend.”

Vettel disagrees about the drama part of that.

“From a driving point of view,” he said as per GPFans, “it is not very exciting to have the sprint.

“You are still looking at the main race, you are still looking at maybe your position, obviously, but mostly not losing because you get some points now, but the main focus is still on the race.”

And he’s not the only one who feels that way.

Max Verstappen recently said he does “not like” them, adding that he thinks “that Sunday emotion and feeling should be special. That’s the only time you race. That’s how I grew up racing, anyway: Sunday is the day to race.”

His team-mate Sergio Perez branded them “very boring” with Lando Norris saying they are “not the most exciting”.

And yet F1 is doubling the number to six.

Vettel says that’s because they are chasing the money.

“I don’t want to be the bad guy for just being the bad guy, but I think it is just a way to make more money,” he said.

“If there is a race it is maybe more exciting than just a practice session, you have more people watching.

“So I guess it is a question of approach and I don’t have the full access and full numbers, but that’s what we were told some while ago.”

Read more: Sprints an improvement on practice, but still yet to be fully embraced