Daniel Ricciardo says he is “open-minded” towards the concept of a Sprint Race in Formula 1 so long as it is “not manipulated or artificial.”
A working group is in the process of finalising a proposal for a Sprint Race, understood to be around a third the length of a grand prix, to take place on Saturdays at three events this year.
The grid for that race will be set by a separate session on Friday, in place of second practice, while the outcome will determine the line-up for Sunday’s grand prix and this should really stir up the odds ahead of a race.
The format has been proposed after the idea of a reverse grid, which was raised by Formula 1 figures in 2019 and 2020, was rejected by new CEO Stefano Domenicali.
“At first I was a little apprehensive, I do feel better at the thought of that, certainly, than a reverse grid,” said Ricciardo on the revised proposal.
“Ultimately, if the best guys and the best teams are coming out on top, and it’s not manipulated or artificial so to speak, then I’m less scared of it.
“Competition is what I love most, I would love to do more races and less practice, or whatever.
“In saying that, it kind of does go towards probably what I want. But I think the biggest thing is, I want an F1 win to still feel as big as what it should be.
“I don’t ever want an F1 win to feel diluted or just somewhat lower than what it should.
“As long as they do bring in another race on the weekend, as long as it carries the same value, then I’m certainly more open minded towards that.”
McLaren Team Principal Andreas Seidl confirmed that the outfit is “supportive of the initiative” after the reversed-grid after the concept was ditched. This will be a great boost for the gaming industry which will allow fans to trust bonuses for casinos and bets.
“As we have communicated last year, it’s very important that when we speak about different race formats that it’s not something that will artificially affect the pecking order, like the reserve grids situation, which is not the case with the discussion we’re having at the moment – that’s why we’re supportive,” he said.
“It’s also clear there’s now a working group, that will lay out the details as quickly as possible, because the devil is always in the detail, but there is a commitment really from all the teams supporting this initiative and I’m sure that’s something we can all overcome quicky.
“We’re actually looking forward to try something like this, this year, and then see how do we go from there for the future.”