2021 saw the introduction of a new race weekend format in Formula 1, with the sport trialling sprint races for the first time.
Silverstone saw the first use of the format, with qualifying being move to Friday before a 100km race, requiring no pit stops, takes place on Saturday to decide the starting grid for Sunday’s race.
Following Silverstone, the format was used in Monza and Brazil in 2021 before making an following three appearances in 2022.
Formula 1 have now confirmed that there will be six sprint races in 2023, as the sport looks to implement the format even more in the future following its relative success so far.
While Max Verstappen has already been very vocal about his dislike for the new weekend format, Pierre Gasly has now echoed the Dutchman’s thoughts, explaining that while he sees the benefit of sprint races for F1, he prefers the old format.
“Personally I really like the normal format with the qualifying on Saturday and then one Grand Prix on Sunday,” said the new Alpine driver.
“Spring races – I see the positives financially for the organisation. In terms of spectacle, it still hasn’t proved to me that it’s worth having more and more races. So in my opinion, the normal format is better.”
The main problem that has been argued with sprint races is how all it essential does is correct qualifying mistakes.
With no pit stops there is no room for strategy, meaning that any cars that qualified lower than where they would have expected on Friday can use their quicker car to charge through the pack and start the Grand Prix from higher up than where they qualified.
A DNF in the sprint race would see a driver start Sunday’s race from the back of the grid, with Verstappen explaining that the top drivers do not want to take risks in the sprint race as any contact could put them out of contention for a race win the next day.
With the number of sprint races increasing in 2023, it seems like the new format will be around for the foreseeable, but judging by the drivers’ reactions, there needs to be some tweaks to the format for it to become a successful implementation in the sport.