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Alain Prost

Prost warns that F1 'must stay traditional' in light of changes

Alain Prost can understand why new formats such as Sprint Qualifying have been introduced into Formula 1, but is wary of the effect that bringing in a 23-race calendar could have on the sport.

Alain Prost portret
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To news overview © Renault Sport

Alain Prost believes that Formula 1 must remain "traditional" in light of recent changes introduced into the sport.

In 2021, the Sprint Qualifying format was trialled for the first time at three race weekends, and looks set to run again at six events in 2022.

Whilst Prost can acknowledge the appeal that the sprint event can offer fans, he remains in favour of tradition over a race weekend.

"I am completely against the reverse grid [idea], for sure," Prost told the In The Fast Lane podcast.

"Formula 1 should not accept that, even for the sprint. It's not because Lewis [Hamilton] has done a fantastic race starting from last [in the Sprint Qualifying at the Brazilian Grand Prix] that we should think that it's going to be the same every time and with every driver.

"That does not happen like this. So I am much more for the tradition, and Formula 1 has to stay the way it did.

"I must recognise that we have more and more young fans, with the Netflix series [Drive to Survive], and we have attracted some young people, [the] young generation, which is fantastic.

"And they obviously like this kind of race that we have seen, the sprint race and Lewis' race in Brazil, but Formula 1 has to stay more traditional."

Challenges of 23-race calendar

In regards to tradition, Prost admits that he has some worries about the 23-race calendar planned for the 2022 season, which will be the longest ever in the sport.

The former F1 driver is not only concerned by the effect on personnel, but also on the image of Formula 1.

"23 races is a lot," Prost said. "Very difficult for the teams, very difficult for the people travelling, some of the mechanics, engineers, team principals that [are] running all the races, some not always in a good condition, if you can imagine that, and it's got to be very, very difficult."

"And [F1] has to stay also exceptional. 23 races is a lot. I remember, maybe not this year, but the first time we had three races in a row. And even for me, I was losing a little bit of interest in a way, because it's too close.

"It's a compromise between the number of races, number of fans and obviously the money that you can generate.

"But if you have more success and you will bring more sponsors in, maybe we could have also a little bit less races. [But] it looks like it's not the way that we are going."

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