Masi: Proud of what we achieved with Sprint Qualifying

British Grand Prix: Team by team analysis from Silverstone

Race director Michael Masi feels that Formula 1 should be proud of what it achieved after trialling the new Sprint Qualifying format at Silverstone.

The experimental race weekend was debuted at the British Grand Prix, with Max Verstappen the first driver to claim pole position via a sprint race after jumping qualifying winner Lewis Hamilton off the line.

F1 managing director Ross Brawn hailed the format a success in his post-race column and Masi was similarly pleased with the result.

“I think the first event has been a success and we’ve seen it’s been amazing to have a full crowd here at the British Grand Prix,” he said.

“Everyone should be proud of what we achieved. Looking back, the original intention… gave three competitive elements across three days of the event, which for the viewers, the spectators, the public and the fans has its benefits.

“There was always an open mind from the FIA, F1 and the teams that we would take the first event, see what improvements could be made,” he added. “Overall I think there’s one little element one team brought up which is inconsequential, it’s just something to think about that will be discussed.

“For Monza, we’ll sit down openly with everyone, take on any feedback and make any amendments we may need to make before Monza.”

The new format was trialled in order to add excitement and Masi argued that having the 100km sprint added to the spectacle across the weekend.

“The structure of a Grand Prix weekend has been quite stable for a number of years, so [the Sprint] was quite intense,” he added.

“By the time you get through those first few laps and you hear the call we get over the radio, ‘10 laps to go’ and you go, ‘Jesus where’s that gone?’ You have to remind yourself.

“But I thought it was good. The excitement, Kimi and Fernando, their overtaking off the start, all added to the spectacle and from what I understand it came across well from a spectators’ perspective. Speaking to friends around the globe, they liked it because it was different.

“Do I see it having a place at every event? No. Is it a different format – and F1’s been quite open in saying we’re looking at possibilities of different formats at different events in the future? Absolutely.”