George Russell calls for F1 to change ‘boring’ Sprint Race format

The Brit thinks Sprint races should be longer and include a tyre mandate to improve the on-track action


George Russell called on Formula 1 bosses to consider changing the format of Sprint Races to improve the action following an ironically chaotic 2023 Austrian Grand Prix Sprint.

The Brit started the 24-lap race in 15th after a hydraulic issue in the shootout but made huge progress through the field as the track went from wet to dry.

Russell was the first to gamble and ditch his intermediate tyres for slicks and recovered from last when he emerged from the pits to snatch the final point on offer in eighth.

After the race, however, he was critical of the Sprint Race format, offering up a potential solution to make them more exciting.

“It was an enjoyable race,” Russell told the media. “I think the race would have been very boring if it was just dry from start to finish.

“I still believe the sprint race is just a little bit too short. In dry conditions, I think the medium tyre can do 30 or 40 laps.

“For a 24-lap race, it would have been an easy, easy race for everyone. So yeah, I hope to see a small change somewhere.

“I think it’d be quite cool to mandate a soft tyre for the sprint race. When you’re on the softest tyre or the sprint tyre as you could call it, it would give a bit more action.”

Russell backs himself to rediscover form

The last few races have been difficult for Russell, who has seen his 4-1 qualifying advantage over Lewis Hamilton overturned.

He also trails his teammate by nearly 40 points in the drivers’ championship, but backed himself to recover from his slump before the summer break.

“Things just aren’t really clicking at the moment on my end,” Russell added. “Start of the season, I felt a lot more confident and was able to put the car on the limit.

“Now I’m struggling generally and have taken a step backwards compared to the rest of the field.

“So just need to understand that take a reset tomorrow and into Silverstone, and I’m sure it won’t be long until I’m back to my normal level.”

Andrew Wright
Sports Journalist for
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