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Red Bull Racing

Todt: Artificial ideas like sprint races not needed if Red Bull can catch Mercedes

The proposal to introduce sprint races into F1 has had a mixed reaction. FIA president Jean Todt believes that such 'artificial' measures would not be needed if more teams could catch up to Mercedes.

Jean Todt
To news overview © Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

Jean Todt has admitted that the idea to introduce new concepts such as sprint races into F1 would not be needed if the likes of Red Bull could catch up with Mercedes.

Whilst the suggestion of having reverse grid races seems to have been dismissed, the proposal to hold shorter sprint races at a select number of grand prix weekends in 2021 looks like a strong possibility. The concept has had some mixed reactions amongst drivers, but Todt believes that sometimes these measures are the only way to create more competition during a period of dominance by one team.

"We can only hope that there will be more hope in the future," Todt said about the hope of greater competition during an interview with the Cambridge Union. "Not only for Ferrari, but it's good to see Red Bull being able to challenge Mercedes, to see Max Verstappen being able to challenge Lewis Hamilton.

"That will avoid thinking about reverse grid [races]. Why do we think about reverse grid? Because we try to find one artificial way of stopping dominance. We can have a fair way of stopping dominance if other teams do a better job."

It is not the first time that such measures have been discussed as a way to create more competition; Ferrari's period of dominance in the early 2000s came to an end following the introduction of new tyre rules, for example. Despite being team principal at Ferrari at the time, Todt believes that tyre changes can make races more exciting.

The Frenchman also thinks that past aspects of Formula 1 such as refuelling - which has also been debated as something to bring back to the sport - added to the spectacle.

"The time when refuelling was allowed, it was quite an exciting race," Todt explained. "I think it was a nice part of Formula 1 when we had that."

However, Todt believes that F1 remains a "great show" without any changes.


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