Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner looks on in the Pitlane during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of United States at Circuit of The Americas on October 19, 2023 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

F1: Horner says Sprint Races need tweaking

(GMM) Christian Horner thinks Formula 1 should consider tweaking the ‘sprint race’ format while his driver wants them axed altogether.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen declared in Austin that the sprint format “takes away the magic” of fans turning on the TV on a grand prix Sunday to find out which driver can turn their pre-race pace into a result.

But now, after the short sprint, “everyone more or less knows what’s going to happen” because it happened already in micro-form on Saturday.

“I’m not bored but if I would be a fan, I would just be disappointed,” said the Dutchman.

Team boss Horner, however, doesn’t want to scrap the sprint race format, which currently takes place six times per season. But he thinks it needs tweaking.

“The sprint in itself is the right way,” he is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport. “But it could use some fine-tuning here and there to make it more exciting.

“Maybe we should flip the top 10 on the grid,” Horner proposed.

“Another possibility would be to award more points. That would encourage drivers to take more risks because it’s more worthwhile to do so. Things just need to be a little more unpredictable than they are now.

“The concept itself is good,” we just need to do a better job with the implementation so that it becomes more exciting for the viewers, he explained.

USGP Race promoter Bobby Epstein said the Saturday attendance at COTA was down and said hosting a Sprint Race did not attract the fan interest they had hoped.

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