Last Saturday’s sprint race at the Brazilian Grand Prix was by far the best sprint event that has ever taken place in Formula 1, with the 24-Lap race at Interlagos having everything
The sprint saw a shock driver on pole in the form of Haas’ Kevin Magnussen, George Russell fighting to the front, inter-team collisions and Mick Schumacher going from P20 to P12.
Many have been sceptical about the sprint format, given that every edition of it has been a snooze fest until last Saturday.
The success of the Brazil sprint race did prove one very crucial thing, though: the format does work.
The entire Brazilian GP from start to finish was by far the most consistently exciting Grand Prix of the season, leaving some fans wanting more sprint events.
Whilst there have only been three in 2021 and another three this season, 2023 will see six sprint weekends.
If they are all as good as Brazil’s then the format will become favoured ever more; however, Lewis Hamilton has admitted that the sport needs to be very careful at ensuring it selects the correct venues.
F1 managing director Ross Brawn has echoed this point by Hamilton, by insisting that “selecting the right sort of races” is imperative to the sprint format actually being a success.
“Very pleasing, the racing is very pleasing,” said Brawn.
“The track helps, it shows the sensitivity for selecting the right sort of races for next year. But fantastic.”
Despite its success last weekend, the format is set to be discussed by the sport and the teams over the winter, following a number of complaints ahead of last weekend.
Max Verstappen has admitted that he doesn’t like the sprint format, with drivers not being prepared to “risk” too much during the sprint, with the big points being available on Sundays.
Brawn has revealed that the championship is looking to see if the format can be tweaked in any way, but that they are “very cautious” about doing so.
“We are looking at if there are any evolutions in the format that can be considered for next year, but we have got a fantastic foundation already,” added Brawn.
“We are very cautious about changing things and certainly, I don’t think we should move to a dramatically different format.
“It was great, a fantastic race, gave the crowd terrific entertainment. Qualifying is special but not as special as this was, I enjoyed that.”