Sebastian Vettel has questioned why Formula 1 feels the need to experiment with sprint races during the 2021 season, with the German believing there are bigger issues to fix rather than the format of a weekend.
The FIA announced they were considering three sprint races throughout 2021 to be held on the Saturday afternoons of the Canadian, Italian and Brazilian Grand Prix, but the Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team racer is not in favour of changing the weekend format in this fashion.
Vettel has asked the question to why the FIA would want to do this, as he feels other bigger issues would be best to solve before experimenting with something that does not need shaken up.
“I don’t know what the thinking is behind it,” said four-time World Champion Vettel to Motorsport.com. “I don’t like it. Why would you have a pre-final to a final? What’s the point of that? I don’t understand it.
“Obviously if there is a race on Saturday, then I will have to take part because I still want to drive on Sunday, but from my point of view, it makes no sense.”
“You have the grand prix and it has always been around 300km and the main challenge of the weekend. I think if you have to introduce something like this, then there is something else that you need to fix other than the format, or another race, or another two minutes, or a Q4 or Q5, or whatever it is.
“Maybe it’s shifting or taking the focus away from the real problem. It’s more of a patch rather than a fix.”
Vettel is not the first driver to question the introduction of the Saturday sprint races, with both Red Bull Racing drivers, Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez, believing they are ‘risky’.
“It’s not necessarily about more racing [on a weekend],” said Verstappen to Motorsport.com. “I quite like doing a one-and-a-half-hour race, because if we have good cars like we can race closely and more teams are able to fight for victory, you don’t need sprint races.
“I think we don’t need to really mix it up that much the whole programme. We just need to make sure that you fight for the win.”
For Pérez, it is essential to the Mexican that Formula 1 does not lose its DNA profile by introducing sprint races for the first time.
“I just think we’ve got to be careful that we don’t lose the DNA of Formula 1,” said the Mexican. “I think it’s a very thin line. It’s a bit risky. I’m open to it.
“I don’t know what to expect really, how it will change the format in Formula 1 once we’ve done it. For me, the most important thing is that F1 keeps with the DNA.”