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F1

F1 urged to make crucial Sprint change

Would this make the Sprint a better spectacle?

Leclerc Baku Sprintrace
Article
To news overview © XPBimages

Former F1 Team Principal Paul Stoddart has urged the sport to make further changes to the Sprint format to "make it proper".

The alternative Saturday format has been tweaked for the third year in a row this term as F1 aims to continue its impressive market growth by providing more excitement.

In the buildup to the opening Sprint weekend of the season in Azerbaijan, the format was tweaked to introduce a second qualifying session - the Sprint Shootout - as a replacement for the much-maligned second free practice on a Saturday morning.

The Shootout is a shorter version of traditional qualifying and sets the grid for the Sprint, creating a standalone day separate to the main Grand Prix.

That has been seen as a major step forward but for former Minardi Team Principal Stoddart, further change is needed.

Jury still out

"The jury is still out on the actual Sprint format," Stoddart told RacingNews365 exclusively.

"I think they need to address the situation with the podium - I mean, it is a race, they may want to call it a Sprint but there are World Championship points being decided, so why not let them have a podium?

"It all just seems flat. You see the interviews at the end, people are not sure where to go or what to do.

"That needs tidying up and it would be a good thing for the sport as they did because if you're going to keep the Sprint, then let's make it a proper race."

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RESULTS 2024 F1 Hungarian Grand Prix - Qualifying