Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff says Formula 1 should try out Saturday sprint race, despite the idea being “controversial”.
The introduction of Saturday sprint races is an idea that has been long thrown around by Formula 1 bosses. In an attempt to boost tickets sales and make Saturdays more interesting, Qualifying would be moved to the Friday FP2 timeslot, with a sprint race taking its place on Saturday to determine the starting grid. Toto Wolff believes the concept should be tested.
“The sprint races are an interesting format in my opinion, and an experiment which I believe we need to do,” the Austrian said.
“I have seen in other racing series – DTM – that the audience almost doubled when having a Saturday and Sunday race and that obviously can be monetised.
“I think if we are to do this without some interference to create a fake show, it has merit to try it.
“I’m not sure we will like the outcome because qualifying, how we have it today, is a real qualifying, and a sprint race always bears the risk of damage which can be costly and obviously has a huge impact on Sunday’s grid and Sunday’s ability to perform.
“For sure, it is going to create controversy too, but giving it a try for three races in 2021, in the right framework, we would be up for it.”
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However Wolff once again spoke out against any suggestions of reverse grid races.
“Reverse grids have no place in any sport that is based on measuring and competing in the true sense of sport.
“We are entertainment, but the moment you slide into show and Hollywood, you will lose a lot of credibility as a sport overall.
“So not every decision that aims to increase the entertainment factor is right for Formula 1.
“It always needs to be balanced between the DNA of true sport – the best man and best machine win.
“And what the fans like to see,” concluded Mercedes’ team principal.