Ferrari voices support for 2021 F1 Sprint Race proposals – Motorsport Week

Formula 1’s plans to introduce Sprint Races at a handful of weekends this season has been welcomed by the Ferrari team.

Under the new proposed format, qualifying would be moved to Friday afternoon, with the results from that session setting the grid for the shorter Sprint Race on Saturday.

The starting order for Sunday’s grand prix would then be settled through the final classifications from the Sprint Race.

It is understood that the format would be introduced at three events this year.

While no such plans have yet been ratified, Ferrari is encouraged by talks regarding a new format aimed at creating more unpredictable races.

“We’re very engaged in the discussions with Formula 1 and the FIA, we believe that changing for more spectacle and, eventually, for unpredictable races will be great,” said Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto.

“The discussion is ongoing, the discussions at the moment seem to be promising for a good outcome but we still need to look at the details.

“Details will make the difference, in that respect, so I think the team work has to continue and hopefully we’ll find a good solution.”

However, concerns have been raised over potentially diluting the accomplishment of winning a grand prix, with McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo affirming the competition at the front shouldn’t be “artificial”.

Both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, who form Ferrari’s driver line-up this year, are open to trying out the new Sprint Race format – but warned that the grand prix shouldn’t lose any value.

“On my side, what I think from a driver’s perspective, I think it’s quite interesting, I think it should be tried, at least,” said Leclerc.

“Then we need to understand how all of this will work, with the points, etc.

“I think the most important thing is that the main race remains the main race and that the value of the main race doesn’t go down.

“I think this is the main point on my side. It might be, at least, interesting to try it, to have shorter races where we can attack more, so I’ll be happy to try it.

Sainz added: “For me I think that until we try it, we don’t know. I think it’s one of those things that until you get a fresh go at it, you’ll never know exactly how it goes.

“Personally I think it’s super important that the main race doesn’t lose value.

“I think there’s the danger that sometimes there can be two winners in a grand prix weekend and we need to make sure that there’s only one winner from what we’ll end up doing with the double race.

“For the rest, I think if there’s any year where we should try it, it’s 2021, looking at the future ahead, I think it’s a good opportunity to try these things and see how it goes.”

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