Verstappen’s verdict on sprint races: I’d rather lose a point than crash

Red Bull's Max Verstappen has won three out of the six sprint events in Formula 1 history.


Max Verstappen doubled down on his dislike of F1‘s new sprint races, and added he wouldn’t be racing full bore on Saturday at the Azerbaijan GP.

The new format announced for Baku sees the sprints uncoupled from the grand prix, with their own qualifying session on Saturday morning before the race in the afternoon, with qualifying for Sunday’s grand prix taking place on Friday.

Verstappen previously hinted if these changes continue he may not stay in F1 beyond 2028, when his current Red Bull deal expires.

“Everyone already knows my opinion about but I think just looking at the weekend, it will be a bit more chaotic to get everything right,” Verstappen told the media.

“There’s a little bit more risk involved now with qualifying, but I think when you look at the sprint race itself, the risk will be the same because you don’t want to potentially damage your car, which then also influences the development of the car.

“And I would rather lose one point than lose development.”

Despite his criticisms, Verstappen has a strong record at sprint events since they were introduced in 2021.

That season he gained points on title rival Lewis Hamilton in all three sprint qualifying sessions, and in 2022 he took victory in two out of three sprints.

‘Difference of opinion’

Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – April 24, 2022 General view of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during the race while the safety car is out REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

Despite Verstappen‘s comments, which came before the new sprint format was announced publicly, F1 remains fully committed to the events.

Verstappen accepted he was looking at it from a different point of view than the sport’s key stakeholders and promoters, but insisted he was only speaking his gut instinct.

“At the end of the day everyone is entitled to their own opinion of course,” Verstappen said, “and sometimes what I think is right, some people don’t agree with.

“But I just think as a pure racer, and when you’re running a business, it’s sometimes different. I guess it’s just a difference in opinion.”

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for and in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
- Advertisment -


Liam Lawson prepares for free practice at the 2022 Mexican Grand Prix | Peter Fox/Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull bosses agree on Liam Lawson F1 prospects in 2025

Christian Horner and RB CEO Peter Bayer refused to back Liam Lawson's prospects for a full-time Formula 1 drive...
Carlos Sainz looks on at the 2024 Monaco GP | Ferrari

After Carlos Sainz’s Mercedes denial, why does his future remain an enigma?

Ferrari swinging the axe on Carlos Sainz's career in scarlet must have stung, but the Spaniard at least had...
Charles Leclerc dives into the Monaco harbour | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Where does Charles Leclerc rank 2024 Monaco Grand Prix win?

Charles Leclerc is a race winner for the first time in almost two years as the Ferrari ace crushed...
Charles Leclerc celebrates winning the 2024 Monaco GP | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

What we learned from the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix

The 2024 Monaco Grand Prix may not have served up a classic, but it wasn’t short on storylines as...
Sergio Perez talks to his engineer Hugh Bird and team principal Christian Horner in the garage | Mark Thompson / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Look away Checo – Horner praises Perez’s F1 rival as star fights for Red...

Christian Horner insists Red Bull will make a decision about Sergio Perez's Red Bull future "in the fullness of...
Max Verstappen during 2024 Monaco Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 Winners and Losers of 2024 Monaco GP

Charles Leclerc vanquished his Monte Carlo demons to finally take victory at his home race, while Red Bull continued...
Daniel Ricciardo of Visa Cash App RB during the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 Driver Ratings – Monaco GP 2024

Charles Leclerc was in dreamland as the Ferrari driver finally celebrated an elusive victory at home race at the...
Josef Newgarden drinks his milk after winning the 2024 Indy 500 | Penske Entertainment: James Black

2024 Indy 500 Race Results

Josef Newgarden joined an elite group of drivers by winning the Indy 500 for the second consecutive year in...
Josef Newgarden celebrates winning the 2024 Indy 500 | Penske Entertainment: Amber Pietz

Newgarden takes sensational Indy 500 win after epic battle for glory

The Indianapolis 500 never fails to excite and even a four-hour rain delay couldn't dampen the drama for IndyCar's...
Tom Blomqvist crashes in Lap 1 at the 2024 Indy 500 | Penske Entertainment: Aaron Skillman

2024 Indy 500: Results and Highlights as Newgarden wins

Welcome to this Total Motorsport live blog for the 2024 Indy 500, is among the most prestigious motorsport events...
- Advertisment -