Verstappen and Perez call for changes to Sprint weekend format

There have been 12 F1 Sprint weekends since they were introduced in 2021


Red Bull duo Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez have criticised Formula 1‘s Sprint weekends for their lack of excitement, despite benefitting from the extra points on offer.

Verstappen openly loathes the Sprint format and has called for it to be scrapped as early as the 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, stating they take away from the intrigue of a Grand Prix.

Despite his dislike of the format, Verstappen dominated Saturday’s Sprint at Interlagos, winning by over four seconds from Lando Norris and Perez.

Tyre management marred Saturday’s Sprint race in Brazil, with drivers unable to push flat out for 24 laps to preserve their used rubber to the chequered flag.

“Just a normal race weekend, please,” bluntly expressed Verstappen when asked what he would like changed from the Sprint by the media “I’m not interested in any change. I don’t like it.”

Perez calls for reversed grids to fix poor quality of racing

Drivers’ opinions on the Sprint are split, with Verstappen and rookie Logan Sargeant not fans of the format. In contrast, Valtteri Bottas and Charles Leclerc like the format due to there only being one practice session before qualifying rather than the traditional three in a conventional race weekend.

Regardless of drivers’ opinions, Sprint race weekends will remain for 2024 with F1 bosses in talks to change the format, which would see Qualifying moved back to Saturday afternoon from Friday.

The Sprint itself would be moved to Saturday morning before, with the Sprint shootout moved to Friday afternoon after a single practice session.

One idea suggested to help improve excitement in the Sprint would be the introduction of reverse grid races currently in use in F1‘s support categories, Formula 2 and Formula 3.

The reversed grid idea could be determined by reverse championship order, meaning the last driver in the standings would start on pole with the championship leader at the back.

“I think if they want to keep this format of sprint races, we’ve got to change it. I would propose a reverse grid. Something like that to make it more interesting for the fans,” assessed Perez.

“I don’t think it’s working what we want to achieve, and yeah, nothing really happens in these sorts of races.

“I think [a reverse grid will] mix up things and create more opportunities, a lot more overtaking. If we want to keep this format, give it a go on something quite different because for the last two years, this sort of event hasn’t brought a lot of good racing.”

Ed Spencer
Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
- Advertisment -


Pascal Wehrlein celebrates winning 2024 Formula E championship | Formula E

London E-Prix Results 2024 – Formula E Round 16

Pascal Wehrlein emerged victorious in one of the most dramatic races in Formula E history, securing his maiden Drivers'...
Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes battle for track position at Turn 2 during the 2024 Hungarian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen escapes crash penalty: Blames Lewis Hamilton

Max Verstappen blames Lewis Hamilton for turning in too early for their Hungaroring crash on July 21 as the...
Lando Norris in action at the 2024 Hungarian GP | McLaren

F1 Standings after 2024 Hungarian Grand Prix

Oscar Piastri secured his first Formula 1 victory at the 2024 Hungarian Grand Prix amid internal McLaren drama with...
Porsche driver Pascal Wehrlein after winning Round 15 at the London E-Prix | Formula E

Wehrlein wins 2024 Formula E title after gripping London E-Prix

An unbelievable end to the 2024 Formula E season saw Pascal Wehrlein crowned champion at the London E-Prix after...
Pascal Wehrlein and Mitch Evans in action at the 2024 London E-Prix | Formula E

Formula E 2024 LIVE: London E-Prix Finale – Wehrlein becomes champion after huge drama

Welcome to this Formula E LIVE BLOG for Round 16 from the 2024 London E-Prix! This Sunday, we bring you real-time updates,...
Lando Norris during practice at the 2024 Hungarian GP | McLaren F1 Team

Norris blames McLaren for team orders debacle: Issues warning

Lando Norris blamed McLaren for the team orders chaos at the 2024 Hungarian GP as he waited until Lap...
George Russell in action at the 2024 Hungarian GP | Mercedes

F1 2024 Hungarian GP – Fastest Lap

George Russell set the fastest lap of the 2024 Hungarian GP with a 1:20.305 on a weekend when he...
Oscar Piastri in action at the 2024 Hungarian GP | McLaren

Oscar Piastri Takes Debut F1 Victory at Hungarian GP Amid McLaren Drama

Oscar Piastri has clinched his first-ever Formula 1 victory at the 2024 Hungarian GP, after a dramatic race filled...
Oscar Piastri of McLaren leads Lando Norris and Max Verstappen into Turn 1 at the start during the 2024 Hungarian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 2024 Hungarian Grand Prix – Race Results

The 2024 Hungarian Grand Prix race weekend took us through the midpoint of the Formula 1 season, and Oscar Piastri took the chequered flag to...
Sergio Perez during practice ahead of the 2024 Hungarian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 2024 Hungarian GP – Piastri wins after Norris finally follows team orders

Welcome to this F1 Live Blog for the 2024 Hungarian GP! This Sunday, we bring you real-time updates,...
- Advertisment -