Verstappen: I won't be around for long if there are many changes

Verstappen: I won’t be around for long if there are many changes

Verstappen: I won't be around for long if there are many changes

Max Verstappen revealed he won’t stick around too long in Formula 1 if the sport’s management keep on fiddling with its format the latest being Sprint Races.

Ever since Liberty Media took over Formula 1, the new owners have been working on applying changes to the sport with the hope of “improving the show”, one of their solutions being the introduction of the pointless Sprint Races, which we have six to deal with in 2023.

While change should be embraced, it is not necessarily always for the good, and should not be introduced just for the sake of changing, as it remains true to say: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

And F1 definitely ain’t broke, and one of the recent changes to it, the new beautiful generation of F1 cars with ground effect and better racing abilities, a clear example that change can be good sometimes.

But Sprint Races to decide the starting grid of Grand Prix on Sunday are pointless and do not reflect the DNA of F1, as qualifying is all about putting together that crucial flying lap, fully flat out, on low fuel with everything at stake for both team and driver.

That is not to mention that Sprint Races contradict the sport’s drive for cost reduction and sustainability, but hey, what do we know…

Sprints Races not in the DNA of F1

However someone who “knows” is double F1 Champion Max Verstappen, and he is not happy about changes to the sport that mess up its DNA, something he weighed on in the aftermath of F1 CEO, Stefano Domenicali’s statement that he doesn’t mind scrapping practice sessions from F1 weekends because they are not exciting.

The Italian tried to backtrack what he said and clarify it, but nevertheless, Verstappen issued a warning he’s not happy with all this talk about changing things.

“Even if you change the format, I don’t find that is in the DNA of Formula 1 to do these kind of sprint races,” the Dutchman said when asked about the subject, quoted by Sky Sports F1. “I hope there won’t be too many changes, otherwise I won’t be around for too long.

“I am not a fan of it at all,” he insisted. “When we do all that kind of stuff, the weekend becomes very intense and we already do a lot of races. But it is not the right way to go about it.

“I understand that they want to have every day exciting, but then I think it’s better to just reduce the weekend – only race the Saturday and Sunday.

“And if you start adding even more stuff, it’s not worth it for me. I’m not enjoying that,” the Red Bull ace maintained.

Maybe Domenicali and Formula One Management should listen to their Champions rather than marketing consultants that just want to make the producers of Netflix’s Drive to Survive happy hoping to add more fans that will switch off F1 as fast as they switched on it.

The fans that get bored watching practice sessions and just want racing all the time, respectfully, do not understand F1, and chances are they won’t be hanging around for long, while the true F1 fans that have supported the sport for all these years, playing a role in what it has become will always stick around.

America – where Liberty Media come from – has mastered the art of marketing and that we must respect, and we do, but who’s to decide when to draw a line on marketing before ruining the essence of our beloved F1.

For Verstappen to say what he said in the height of his success in F1, fighting for his third successive Drivers’ Crown, is pretty damning.