Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has reaffirmed that he is against the idea of sprint races, as he does not feel they add anything to Formula 1.
Sprint races were introduced last season, with three taking place in Silverstone, Italy and Brazil, and there were expected to be six this year.
However, several teams were concerned that the further restrictive budget cap would make that many untenable, so it was reduced back to three for 2022.
Verstappen has previously spoken out against the idea, as he feels that racing on Saturday takes away from the unique feeling of adrenaline that racing on Sunday produces.
There is set to be an increase of sprints next year – potentially at every race – and F1 CEO, Stefano Domenicali, recently suggested that reverse grids may also be added to the equation.
Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas are the only two winners of the five sprint races thus far, so Mercedes and Red Bull have dominated them.
Only once has the winner of the sprint gone on to win the main race though, and McLaren and Ferrari have both walked away winners of the main race on one occasion during a sprint weekend.
The British side are the only team outside the top three to take the win on Sunday after Verstappen and Bottas have taken the chequered flag in Saturday’s race.
Therefore, the reigning champion is not at all convinced that racing twice during a weekend is productive.
“I would not enjoy it, I just don’t like it,” said Verstappen when asked about the possibility of sprints taking place at every race, as per GPFans.
“That Sunday emotion and feeling should be special, that’s the only time you race, that’s how I grew up racing anyway. Sunday is the day to race.”
Verstappen reasons that drivers are unwilling to take any risks during the first race to avoid an adverse starting position for the main event, so the races do not provide entertainment.
“So far, from the sprint races we have had, not a lot has drastically changed in terms of results,” he explained.
“More or less everyone starts on the same tyre and that’s where you finish because you are scared to have a crash or whatever because then you start at the back for the main race where the big points are.
“So everyone is a bit more like ‘Okay, let’s just make sure we finish the race without any trouble’ so that’s not what you want really.”
Verstappen leads the 2022 championship by 116 points from Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, and he looks set to successfully defend his title.