Formula 1 teams have reportedly agreed to make changes to the format of the sprint race for the upcoming season. According to reports from The Daily Mail, enough team bosses have given their support for the plans. Initially, the plan was announced around the time of the Australian Grand Prix, when it was revealed that Formula 1 was working on a way to overhaul the sprint race format. The new format would see the sprint race become a standalone element of the race weekend, rather than determining the Grand Prix starting grid. Instead, the starting grid for both races would be determined by a traditional qualifying session, with the practice session on the Saturday of the race weekend being replaced by qualifying for the sprint race.
The team bosses discussed the plans on the day of the Australian Grand Prix, with eight out of the 10 team bosses agreeing to the ideas, as well as the FIA and Formula One management. The Daily Mail has reported that the necessary number of agreements has been achieved, meaning that the plans will now be submitted to the F1 Commission. The commission is scheduled to meet on 25 April, just three days before the race weekend begins in Azerbaijan. If the commission also approves the plans, the new format will be implemented for the first time in Baku.
Opinions in the Formula 1 paddock on these plans are divided. Reigning world champion Max Verstappen is the most vocal opponent of the new format, arguing that it affects the DNA of the sport and making him have little desire to continue beyond his current contract. Interestingly, Red Bull Racing advisor Helmut Marko has previously claimed that Red Bull is partly driving these ideas by demanding that a second qualifying session must take place on the weekend of a sprint race last year. On the other hand, Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have not explicitly commented on the new plans, but they argue that the sport should be open to change.
F1, F1 2023, Formula One, Racing, Australian Grand Prix, Red Bull