Verstappen blasts F1 Sprint Races: Just scrap the whole thing

Verstappen has voiced his criticism of the format ahead of a new weekend structure introduced for F1 Sprint Races at the 2023 Azerbaijan GP

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Max Verstappen has lambasted Formula 1’s new Sprint race format, calling for them to be scrapped after a tussle with George Russell during the Azerbaijan GP Sprint Shootout.

Verstappen, who is not a fan of Sprints, came into the weekend admitting he wouldn’t take unnecessary risks to secure the extra points. He finished third in today’s race behind teammate Sergio Perez.

“Just scrap the whole thing,” said Verstappen to the media. “I think it’s important to go back to what we have and make sure every team can fight for a win.

“I got bored [in] today’s qualifying, to be honest, I like to have one particular Qualifying where you just put everything in it, and that was yesterday, which I enjoyed.

“It’s hectic, not proper racing, it’s more gambling. I think I would have more success in Vegas if I go to the casinos. I like racing I am a pure racer, and I think this is more for the show.”

Max Verstappen of Red Bull and George Russell of Mercedes after the 2023 Azerbaijan GP Sprint race | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Car jumping around as a result of opening lap damage

Verstappen’s Sprint was compromised when he made contact with Mercedes’ George Russell on the opening lap, puncturing a hole in the sidepod and hampering the car’s performance.

Despite repassing the Brit, the pair had words after the race in Parc Ferme, with Verstappen calling Russell a d***head after he explained a lack of grip was the reason behind the incident.

“Yeah, it was a bit weird,” said Verstappen. “I expected a balance [issue], but the car was jumping around a lot and sliding in some weird places, we need to look into the data.

“To see how much damage it did, it’s not great, and you try to close the gap a bit, but you are constantly in the dirty air and at one point, my tyres were running too hot.

“We got through the corner without him [the] hitting the inside barrier, but apparently, it’s hard for them not to hit a Red Bull car.”

Ed Spencer
Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
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