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Max Verstappen

Verstappen questions F1 Sprint in China: 'Not the smartest thing to do'

The first race event of the year to use the sprint format will take place in China next weekend, much to the confusion of Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

Verstappen Japan
To news overview © XPBimages

Max Verstappen has questioned Formula 1's decision to host an F1 Sprint race weekend at the Chinese Grand Prix.

The first event using the alternative schedule will take place in Shanghai as the sport returns to China for the first time in five years later this month.

The sprint format has received a re-jigged schedule for 2024 with sprint qualifying pushed back to Friday, while the opening session on Saturday will be the sprint race itself before qualifying for the grand prix takes place several hours later.

F1 has not ventured to China since 2019 due to restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking to media including RacingNews365, Verstappen has criticised the decision to run the different weekend schedule in Shanghai due to various unknowns ahead of the event.

“It's very smart to do that,” the Dutchman said sarcastically.

“I think it's not great, let's say like that, to do that. Because when you have been away from a track for quite a while, I think you never know what you're going to experience, right?

“So it would have been better to have a normal race weekend there.”

'It probably spices things up'

However, Verstappen acknowledged that hosting it at a venue that has not been featured on the calendar for some years creates more excitement.

“On the other hand, it probably spices things up a bit more, and that's maybe what they would like to see.

“But purely from a driving perspective, performance perspective of the sport, I think it's not the smartest thing to do.

“We'll see what we get there, I always loved driving there.

“Hopefully we can hit the ground running as well as we can, and hopefully we don't need to fine-tune too many things on the car.”

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