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The FIA have announced they will be increasing the number of sprint sessions in the racing calendar from 2023 and beyond. The events have received a mixed response, with Max Verstappen openly admitting that he isn’t a fan of the races.
There are currently three sprint events in the racing calendar, though that number will now double to six. The 100km races were introduced last year, leading to three-day race events due to qualifying being forced to move to Friday.
Formula 1 President Stefano Domenicali said: “I am pleased that we can confirm six Sprints will be part of the Championship from 2023 onwards, building on the success of the new format introduced for the first time in 2021. The Sprint provides action across three days with the drivers all fighting for something right from the start on Friday through to the main event on Sunday – adding more drama and excitement to the weekend.
“The feedback from the fans, teams, promoters, and partners has been very positive and the format is adding a new dimension to Formula 1, and we all want to ensure its success in the future.” However, Verstappen is one of the drivers who has voiced a negative opinion on the format previously.
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Speaking in April, he said: “I’m still not a fan of it. In the end, this doesn’t change anything, it doesn’t matter if you have such a fight in sprint or race itself. I like the way the weekend goes better with a normal schedule.”
Verstappen is currently top of the F1 standings on 335 points, with his nearest rival being Ferrari star Charles Leclerc on 219 points. The Dutchman appears set to enjoy a long rein at the top of the F1 world, but the 24-year-old may have to adjust to life with sprint races.
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Though FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem holds the alternative view and feels that the FIA World Motor Sport Council approving the new plans shows that motorsport is developing and improving. He said: “The confirmation that six race weekends featuring Sprint will take place from the 2023 FIA Formula One World Championship season onwards is another example of the continued growth and prosperity at the highest level of motorsport.
“Thanks to close collaboration with Stefano Domenicali and our colleagues at FOM, we concluded a thorough analysis on the impact of additional Sprint sessions, and have adjusted relevant parameters of our work to ensure that they continue to be regulated at the very highest level.”
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