Horner: Who cares about a Sprint Championship?

Horner: Who cares about a Sprint Championship?

Horner: Who cares about a Sprint Championship?

Red Bull boss Christian Horner was asked about his opinion regarding having a Sprint Championship, but the Briton did not appear to be thrilled about the idea.

The Sprint format has been the subject debate recently, now being implemented since 2021, and on its second iteration already following the initial version when it was launched.

While at the start, qualifying set the starting grid for the Sprint race, the result of the latter setting the starting grid for the Grand Prix, a revised format saw the Sprint changed into a stand-alone Saturday affair with its own qualifying – the Shootout – while qualifying on Friday decided the starting grid of Sunday’s race.

However, opinions are still divided around the Sprint, as its outcome gave some insight into what could be expected from the race while a Sprint winner is not considered as a Formula 1 race winner, not to mentions teams aren’t happy with limited practice time on Sprint weekends, having to lock their cars into Parc Ferme after just one hour of practice.

As such, there have been discussions about changing the Sprint format yet again, some suggesting reverse grids, other suggesting a stand-alone Sprint Championship.

Horner: We can do a better job

Christian Horner was asked about the Sprint Championship idea, if it is a good idea, he told the media over the Sao Paulo Grand Prix weekend: “I don’t know.

“Because then who cares about a sprint championship?” he questioned. “I think that we can do a better job. I think there’s an appetite as you can see from the fans to have a race on a Saturday. What should it be? Should it be a reverse grid? Should it be on championship order? Should it have more points attached to it? Should there be two grands prix during the weekend rather than one.

“I don’t have the answer. But I know what we have today needs tuning,” the Red Bull Racing boss maintained.

“Personally, I prefer the old format. I’m a traditionalist. I like the build up,” the Briton added. “It’s like having a quarterfinal semifinal final. You don’t have the third place play off on the first week of Wimbledon.”

Pointed out that Sprint formats boost Fridays during F1 weekends, which wasn’t the case in Austin by the way, Horner said: “If there’s a genuine desire for the fans, we should find a solution.

Current format not quite right

“What we have at the moment isn’t quite right for the drivers, the fans, or the teams and there needs to be more to it. Because we have just won a sprint race and nobody quite knows what to do. Because all the focus is already on the Grand Prix.

“It’s like you’ve won a long run and got a medal for it. Maybe one thing will be to have an enormous prize fund for the team and drivers. That’s always a big motivation. Then you will see some celebrating at the end!

“I don’t know. I mean, it’s maybe worth looking at it slightly differently. And if you look at a football league or other leagues of sport, they have their main league and then they have Cup finals.

“Maybe you have to look at something that is a little bit different like that. That has a bigger reward attached to it,” Horner concluded.

(Reporting by Agnes Carlier, Writing by Jad Mallak)

Big Question: What do you think about the current Sprint Format? Should it be changed? Should it be cancelled altogether?