Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel believes Sprint Races in Formula 1 would “make no sense” and that it is “patching” over a problem rather than fixing a deeper issue.
Formula 1 is set to introduce Sprint Races at three grands prix this year with a working group currently finalising a proposal to put to the teams.
It is understood that a qualifying session would be held on Friday, determining the grid for a sprint race on Saturday, which would be one-third of the length of a regular grand prix.
The outcome of that race would then set the grid for Sunday’s grand prix.
But Vettel has hit out at the concept and believes Formula 1 is adopting the wrong approach.
“I don’t know what’s the thinking behind it. I don’t like it,” said the four-time World Champion.
“Why would you have a pre-final to a final? What’s the point of that? I don’t understand it. Obviously, if there is a race on Saturday then I will have to take part because I still want to drive on Sunday but from my point of view it makes no sense.
“You have the grand prix and it’s always been run 300km and the main challenge of the weekend.
“I think if you have to introduce something like this then there’s something else you need to fix rather than the format – another race, or Q4 or Q5 or whatever it is. It’s shifting or taking the focus away from the real problem. It’s more of a patch rather than really a fix.”
New team-mate Lance Stroll described the idea as “not ridiculous” but suggested Formula 1 should address its current issues rather than amend the format.
“I think there’s bigger fundamental issues that the sport has to address,” he added.
“It could be great, I’m not against the idea, it’s not ridiculous. But it’s one of those things, like every regulation or format change, it’s always a question mark until we try it, to see how it impacts the sport.
“For me it’s more about getting the grid more competitive, getting the teams closer together – giving us the opportunity, both aerodynamically and with the tyres, to be able to fight closer, wheel-to-wheel, and fight harder together.
“We can’t do that with the loss of aerodynamic load behind the car, and the tyres have so much thermal sensitivity, that we drop out of the tyre temperature window and lose grip.”