Jenson Button Criticizes Max Verstappen’s Narrow Vision & Give NASCAR Inspired Tips to Make F1 “Interesting”

Published 03/14/2023, 7:15 AM EDT

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With each passing year, F1 is devising ways to make the sport more entertaining and appealing for the fans. That sometimes requires the sport to go through some heavy changes that some drivers may not take well to. Jenson Button is readying himself for his new innings in motorsport with NASCAR and Le Mans. The former F1 champion recently asked F1 to take a leaf out of NASCAR’s book that Max Verstappen has always been against.

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F1 introduced Sprint Qualifying, a 100 km race on Saturday that determined the starting grid for the main race on Sunday. Verstappen vehemently opposed the concept before F1 went through with it, starting with just 3 races per season. That number will double in 2023, another prospect that Max is averse to. While the concept is relatively new to F1, Button is in favor of F1 embracing it.

via Getty

“I think the great thing about F1 is they are very open to changes and tickling it here,” Motorsport.com quoted him as saying. “We have the sprint races, which I think work really well. Not everyone’s going to be happy when you change a sport that has been the same for so long. But I like that change.”

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Button also suggested that F1 adopted NASCAR‘s stage points concept. He said, “In NASCAR they have stage points through the race. That could make it interesting because it depends on when you pit for tyres.” Button feels it will change the way teams go about their race and tire strategies and make things more interesting. However, he had certain reservations over whether it will work in the pinnacle of motorsport.

Sprint racing is not real racing- Max Verstappen

Before the main race on Sunday, drivers go through multiple practice sessions and qualifying on Friday and Saturday. During all of it, they pay extra attention to not getting carried away and drive with utmost caution. That is to make sure that they don’t wreck the car before the race because even minor damage can cause the team to change a part, which can result in them taking a grid penalty. During sprint racing, like the main race, they have to, to a certain extent, leave caution to the wind to ensure a high grid place and that can result in that car taking the damage.

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via Reuters

Speaking ahead of the Brazilian GP last year, Verstappen said, “During every sprint race I’m like: don’t take any damage, make sure you stay in the top three.” [Translated using Google]

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“For me, that’s not really racing, because you know there’s a lot more points to be earned in the main race. You take a little more risks in that.”

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Despite Max’s opposition, F1 is taking Sprint more seriously each year. The concept is also something that fans are taking well to. Who knows, maybe in the future, Sprint will take place before every race.

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Written by:

Nischay Rathore

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Nischay Rathore is a Formula 1 Author at EssentiallySports. Being a law graduate, he has worked at the Supreme Court of India as well as the High Court of Delhi. However, due to his adherent love for sports, he has now set out to start his journey into the world of Sports Journalism.
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Edited by:

Akash Pandhare

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