Charles Leclerc Weighs In On Driver Salary Cap, Sprint Races

Earlier this month, Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc refused to give his opinion on Formula 1’s proposed driver salary cap.

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc at Imola 2021 - Formula1news.co.uk

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc has said he doesn’t support plans for a driver salary cap in Formula 1.

The Monegasque is one of the highest-paid drivers on the current F1 grid, with the Scuderia paying him $12 million per year.

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Commenting on the proposed driver salary cap, Leclerc revealed that he is opposed to the move after previously shying away from publicly voicing his opinion on the proposal.

“I don’t agree with the salary cap,” the Ferrari driver said.

“We’ll talk about that with the FIA and with the people that are here to take those decisions.”

He also gave his take on the sprint races that are set to take place this year, saying he believes it is a good idea to at least give them a try and see if they can offer additional entertainment without diminishing the importance of the grand prix on Sunday.

“About the sprint race, I think they are a good idea, at least trying them, then we’ll see if they work or not when we will have tried them,” Leclerc said.

“For me the most important thing about that is not to devalue the race on Sunday. 

“And with the sprint race the race on Sunday is not devalued, and we also have another shorter race which could be exciting.”

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The sprint races, which will officially be monikered “Sprint Qualifying”, will have a 100km-race distance and will take place on the Saturday morning of a grand prix weekend.

So, for the three rounds of the 2021 season during which sprint races will be trialled, Free Practice One (FP1) and qualifying for the sprint races will take place on Friday, while Free Practice Two (FP2) will take place on Saturday afternoon after the sprint race.

The outcome of “Sprint Qualifying” will dictate the order for the grand prix – which will remain the main event of the weekend and will continue to take place on a Sunday – and only the top three finishers will score points in this new session.

If the trial goes well this year, sprint races could become a permanent feature of the F1 calendar from 2022 onwards.

The proposal still needs to be ratified by the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC), but it is looking highly likely that the sprint race trial will go ahead this campaign.

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