Sebastian Vettel admits he’s not a fan of Formula 1 Sprint Races, labeling it a way to make more money, amid the sport’s decision to have six sprints in 2023.
Formula 1 has confirmed six Sprint Races in 2023, double the number contested this season, but four-time Champion Sebastian Vettel is not a fan of the sprint weekend format.
“I think that from a driving point of view, it’s not very exciting to have a sprint,” Vettel told Motorsport.com. “I think you are still looking at the main race.
“You’re looking at maybe improving your position, obviously, but mostly not losing,” he explained. “You get some points now, and you get a little bit more [than last year], but I think the main main focus is still on the race.
“I don’t want to be the bad guy for just being the bad guy, but I think it is a way to make more money,” Vettel claimed. “If there is a race, obviously it’s more exciting than maybe a practice session. You have more people watching.
“So I guess it’s a question of approach, but then I don’t have the full access to the numbers. That’s what we were told some while ago,” he revealed.
New 2022 rules didn’t make a big difference
Vettel also expressed his discontent with the new regulations F1 introduced in 2022 with ground effect cars and new low profile 18″ Pirelli tyres, all aiming to improve the show by allowing the cars to race more closely and increase overtaking.
When asked about the new rules, Vettel said: “They’ve always been tricky, but let’s say it like this: the big push this year was to make the cars able to overtake and follow a lot closer. But I don’t think there’s a big difference.
“We follow closer, but we’ve got less drag, so you need to be closer to also overtake. And on tyres, the big target was to allow racing more, but I don’t think it is a big difference either.
“So I don’t want to say it has failed. But certainly a lot of effort had gone in and not all the effort came out, let’s put it this way,” the German reflected.
Vettel admitted – with Aston Martin being a back-marker this season – that successful teams have less problems with the new regulations and especially the tyres, which isn’t the case for his struggling outfit.
“I think everybody is exploring or finding the same thing,” he said. “So as long as you’re on the good side of things, then [it’s okay].
“But usually, the faster you are in terms of the car package, the less problems you have. So now being at the back of the grid, we do have some surprises and some weekends where it doesn’t go right.
“Then, you only get one or two runs maximum in qualifying, which you know, makes it a lot harder. But I would say it’s pretty much as it was,” the Aston Martin driver maintained.
In all case, Vettel will just have to endure six more races with this generation of F1 cars and tyres, and he will not have to go through sprints in 2023, as he will already be a retired F1 driver by then.