May 9, 2021

Vettel suspects another motive lies behind “official” reason for Sprint Qualifying races | 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel remains sceptical over whether Formula 1’s new Sprint Qualifying races will make grand prix weekends more exciting.

A plan to introduce extra races on Saturdays at three rounds this year was approved by the F1 Commission earlier this week. Vettel, who has said previously the idea “makes no sense”, is doubtful that its true purpose is to create more action.

“We need to see,” said Vettel. “Obviously it’s decided so we’ll give it a go.

“The reasoning behind this, there’s probably two ways to explain it but the official one is that should be more exciting. We’ll see if it’s more exciting. I hope it is.”

Vettel said F1 should be prepared to shelve the plan if it does not produce exciting races.

Start, Silverstone, 2020
Poll: Will F1’s new Sprint Qualifying races enhance the championship?

“If it turns out to be more exciting and the people like it, then maybe we’ll all have to sort of reset and adapt.

“If they don’t like it and we don’t like it then we should go back. I’m generally against creating a mess on purpose, otherwise you just might roll the dice.

“But we’ll see. Hopefully the cars get closer and closer to each other so we don’t need to think about more of these things. But as I said, now I’m pretty open and we’ll see how it turns out.”

Vettel’s former team mate Charles Leclerc welcomed the news Sprint Qualifying races will go ahead, but said they must not detract from the importance of the main event on Sundays.

“I’m quite happy that we are trying this,” said Leclerc. “I think it’s good that we have three grands prix where we’ll try this.

“The main important thing is that it doesn’t devalue the Sunday event, which is the main race, and this should remain the main race. But to have a sprint race might be interesting. We’ll see also the cars be pushed to the max from the first lap to the last lap, which which will be nice for us drivers.”

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2021 Portuguese Grand Prix

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