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Toto Wolff

Wolff expects huge impact of sprint races on F1

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff believes sprint races will positively impact F1's audiences provided it is executed in the right manner.

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Toto Wolff is confident the proposed introduction of sprint races will spark an increase in F1's viewership with the Austrian citing DTM, Germany's premier racing championship, as an example.

With the 2021 Formula 1 season set to feature three sprint races, opinions on the matter are polarised. While some believe it is good the sport is trying new methods to spice proceedings, others believe cheap gimmicks do little to improve Formula 1's declining popularity. Wolff however, thinks sprint races might actually draw viewers to the sport.

"One thing is for sure that by having a little race on Saturday, we will have a large increase in audiences," Wolff told RacingNews365.com among others.

"I've seen it in DTM touring cars that we were almost able to double the TV audiences with the second race.

"I think if done in a responsible way, on tracks you can overtake, without putting too many gimmicks to it I think we should give it a go, hopefully, it'll be an interesting spectacle."

While identifying as a purist himself, Wolff does believe the results must be measured before a decision is taken regarding the future of sprint races.

"Speaking for our team we're probably more on the purist side. We, appreciate the 70-year-old history of a Grand Prix on Sunday," Wolff continued.

"There's a lot of work going on behind the scenes with the managers and sporting directors to ensure that the right regulations are in place for it.

"We really need to understand what was the financial impact and the impact on the eyeballs to be able to generate more and what is the show factor?

"I think if we all stick our heads together, we can find a solution that is of mutual benefit for Formula 1."


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