Verstappen threatens to quit F1 if more sprint races are introduced

Verstappen threatens to quit F1 if more sprint races are introduced

Max Verstappen has warned Formula 1 that the prospect of increasing the sprint races could force him to quit the sport.

Double world champion Max Verstappen has once more voiced his opposition to the concept of sprint races in Formula 1, stating that the already record-high burden on a driver may make it “not worth it” if more is added to their already heavy workloads.

The Red Bull driver projected that if F1 keeps adding sprint races and other intense activities to race weekends, he “won’t be around for too long.” This comes as the series hosts its first sprint race of the year in Baku at the end of the month, as considerations on changing the format are underway.

This format change is apparently being proposed for the first of six sprints in 2023 in Azerbaijan. A different qualifying session would be held to create the grid for the shorter 100km race, with “normal” qualifying retaining the current grid for the major grand prix action on Sunday.

Verstappen is concerned that the strain for drivers will increase as the number of sprints doubles from three to six in 2023 and the record 23 races are increased to 24 and possibly 25 in the future.

As sprints go against the “Nature” of Formula 1 as a sport, he already opposes the notion on principle, contending that the best way to create excitement is to have more teams competing for triumphs each race weekend.

“I’m not a fan of it at all,” Verstappen said after qualifying on pole in Australia. “But also, I think when we are going to do all that kind of stuff, the weekend becomes even more intense and we’re already doing so many races.”

“So I think that is not the right way to go at it… I understand, because they want to have like basically every day exciting, but then I think maybe it’s better to just reduce the weekend – only race Saturday and Sunday and make those two days exciting.”

“Because we’re heading into seasons where you have at one point 24, 25 races, because that’s where we’re going to head into and if we start adding even more stuff, it’s not worth it for me anyway… I’m not enjoying that.”

“And for me, a sprint race is all about surviving. It’s not about racing. For me, when you have a quick car, there’s nothing to risk.”

“I prefer to just keep my car alive and make sure that you have a good race car for Sunday, and even if you change the format, I just don’t find it’s the DNA of Formula 1 to do these kinds of sprint races.”

“F1 is about getting the most out of it in qualifying and then have an amazing Sunday, a good long race distance, and that’s the DNA of the sport – and I don’t understand or I don’t know why we should change that, because I think action has been good.”

“And how do you get even more action is about getting the cars closer or getting more teams able to fight for the win, and I think naturally, the show will be great.”

“If we have six, seven teams already fighting for the win, that will be insane, and you really don’t need to change anything.”

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