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Red Bull star Max Verstappen has called for F1 bosses to reconsider their plans to introduce more sprint races into the calendar next year. There are plans for a further six events to be scheduled next year after two years of trialling the format.
The final sprint race of the year comes in Brazil this weekend when Verstappen will be bidding to win his 15th race of the season. However, he is already looking ahead at the 2023 campaign and the changes on the horizon.
F1 are set to introduce more sprint races into the calendar, which Verstappen feels is only a hindrance. He explained: “I don’t understand what the problem is for that, because we’ve had so many exciting races, so you don’t need to add one-third of a race distance.
“Everyone is so careful anyway, because if you are fighting for third and you have a little touch and you drop to last, you know your Sunday is going to be tough. Probably you won’t risk it, so that’s not really a race.”
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Sprint races have been largely well-supported this year and the World Motor Sport Council promptly approved of the FIA expanding the format for 2023 so that more can be introduced into the calendar. But Verstappen remains against the idea and has offered an insight into how he treats the races.
“Every time I do these [sprint] races, it’s about ‘don’t get damage, make sure you stay in the top three,” he explained. “For me, that’s not really a race, because you go into the main race and you know there are way more points available anyway, you just risk a bit more there.
“You do another start, which is exciting, but it’s only really people who are out of position that move forward because only you put a tyre on that just lasts a whole stint and not much happens.”
It remains to be seen whether Verstappen is joined by other key figures in F1 to protest against sprint races, or if he decided to sideline his discontent and compete in the races next year in hope of landing his third consecutive title.
Lewis Hamilton is amongst those to have approved of the race and feels that they add a different angle to the weekends, especially when decisions are made for the races to take place on open tracks where drivers can be competitive throughout.
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