FIA president reveals stance which will anger Max Verstappen

A new sprint format will be introduced should eight out of the 10 teams vote in favour of it on Tuesday.

Reigning World Champion Max Verstappen won’t be happy to hear that FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem supports the suggested changes to sprint weekends, with a vote set to take place on Tuesday.

Verstappen has been incredibly vocal in his support of the traditional Formula 1 format, with the Dutchman having been against sprint races since they were initially discussed.

With that in mind, Saturdays are set to become the 25-year-old’s least favourite day of the week, given that it will effectively become ‘Sprint Saturday’.

F1 president and CEO Stefano Domenicali has been pushing recently for as much free practice time to be axed as possible, in order to make room for more ‘competitive’ sessions.

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It appears that he will get his wish, with a vote set to take place on Tuesday amongst the F1 Commission to approve the suggested new sprint format.

The proposed format which could be used as soon as next weekend at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, would see Sunday remain the same, with dramatic changes to both Friday and Saturday.

Under the current sprint weekend format, Friday hosts FP1 and qualifying to determine the grid for the sprint race, Saturday hosts FP2 and the sprint race, whilst Sunday just hosts the race.

Under the proposed new format, Friday will host FP1 and qualifying to determine the grid for the main race, Saturday will host another qualifying session to set the grid for the sprint race, followed by the sprint race itself, whilst Sunday will continue to just host the race.

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With Ben Sulayem having backed the new format, it is all but set to be introduced; however, it’s yet to be confirmed whether it’ll be used at the first sprint weekend of the season in Azerbaijan, or in Austria.

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Ben Sulayem told Mail Sport on Saturday night: “The sprint is good for the sport.”

With the FIA president having vocalised his support, the format will be introduced if eight of the 10 teams vote in favour of it, something which is overwhelmingly expected.

Whilst the new format would overhaul sprint weekends, there is no plans as of yet to make changes to the non-sprint weekends.