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Toto Wolff

Wolff confirms talks over radical Sprint overhaul

F1 Sprints have come under fire for a lack of racing excitement this year and with a number of issues being discovered, talks are believed to be underway over changes for next season.

To news overview © XPBimages

Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff has confirmed talks are underway for major changes to F1's Sprint format.

The alternative schedule has faced mixed reviews since the first trial at the 2021 British Grand Prix, though F1 has pressed on with the format since, albeit with a number of changes, as the Sprint quota was increased from three to six races this term.

This weekend's São Paulo Grand Prix marks the final event of the six this year and whilst the format has been successful at Interlagos across the three years, a number of lacklustre weekends in the other five events have sparked calls for an overhaul.

Rumours that the format will be tweaked for next season - with the Shootout moved to the Friday, Sprint to Saturday morning and Grand Prix qualifying to Saturday afternoon - have emerged and asked by Sky Sports F1 whether these were true, he replied: "That's correct.

"We've been talking with Stefano. It is his decision but then you can correlate it easier... you do the Sprint Shootout and then the second qualifying for the race, which would be Saturday at two o'clock, which is the time we know.

"It would maybe create less confusion."

It was then put to Wolff that across the season there has been three different tyre allocations depending on weekend format and two different qualifying formats on a Sprint weekend.

Asked whether there needed to be a less complicated format, Wolff replied: "I'm getting confused.

"I think we all have the same objectives, between F1 and the teams. I've said it often but I am not keen on these weekends but, if it makes sense from the audience's point of view, then obviously we do need it."

Wolff dismisses practice changes

The last Sprint took place at the United States Grand Prix, where Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari's Charles Leclerc were disqualified after the main race for excessive plank wear.

This was attributed to a lack of practice time with only one hour afforded to teams but on whether F1 should increase Sprint practice by 30 minutes, Wolff insisted: "It is the same for everyone.

"You could say from an engineering standpoint that we wish we had more.

"But the idea of the Sprint weekend was to make more jeopardy and that is achieved by having 60 minutes [of practice]."

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