“If you start adding more, it’s not worth it to me! ”: World Champion Max Verstappen threatens to ‘quit F1’ if bosses add more sprint races to already packed calendar…with firing Red Bull star warning not to mess with the sport’s ‘DNA’
- Max Verstappen has threatened to quit Formula One amid a planned overhaul
- F1 chiefs are looking to revolutionize the sport, including adding more sprint racing
- The proposals also include plans to reduce the number of training sessions
Max Verstappen has threatened to quit Formula One if bosses mess with its “DNA” by increasing the number of sprint race weekends.
And the reigning world champion, who took pole position at the Australian Grand Prix scheduled for Sunday morning, spoke in light of talks in the Melbourne arena about a potentially revolutionary overhaul of the usual three-day format.
Chief Executive Stefano Domenicali is keen to offer fans more competition from Friday to Sunday by reducing the number of practice sessions that have been a staple of the Formula 1 experience for years and increasing the number of sprint races held each season from the current six. .
While the paddock was divided over the proposals, details of which are still being worked out, Verstappen made his position clear, saying: ‘I hope there aren’t too many changes, otherwise I won’t be around for long.
I am not a fan of him at all. When we do all that kind of thing, the weekend gets really intense and we actually do a lot of races.
Max Verstappen has insisted he will leave Formula 1 if plans to reform the sport continue
Proposals backed by CEO Stefano Domenicali include shortening training sessions and increasing the number of sprints.
“I understand they want to make every day exciting but they have to cut back the weekend, qualifying and racing only on Saturday and Sunday and make those two days exciting.
“We’re heading into seasons where we can have 24 or 25 races and if I then start adding more, it won’t be worth it to me. I’m not going to enjoy that.
The first of the year’s six sprint races, which are held over a third of the Grand Prix distance, are scheduled for the Saturday of the next round in Baku on the weekend of April 28. The outcome of this will determine the starting order for Sunday’s Main Event.
Another topic that came up was introducing an additional qualifying session – one for the Grand Prix and one for a sprint, perhaps over a single lap.
However, Mercedes pair George Russell and Lewis Hamilton have spoken out in support of more sprints
Verstappen, who had the plans explained to him personally by the Formula One Group, added: ‘The sprint is all about survival, not racing. Not worth the risk when you have a fast car. I’d rather keep my car alive to make sure I have a good race car for Sunday.
Even if you change the format, I don’t find it in the DNA of Formula One to do that kind of sprint.
F1 is all about making the most of it in qualifying and having an amazing Sunday over a long race distance.
Business has been good and how can you get more out of it? Bringing the cars closer, making more teams fight for the win – six or seven of them. It will be crazy and then you don’t need to change anything.
Not all of Verstappen’s peers agree. The Mercedes men, George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, who qualified second and third respectively, spoke of more sprints, which have undoubtedly added more excitement since their introduction at Silverstone two years ago.