Vettel and Ocon Reveal Why the F1 Sprint Race is Highly Unfair

Published 07/15/2021, 1:10 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 4, 2021 Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel before the race Pool via REUTERS/Christian Bruna

Silverstone is all set to unleash a refreshing era into F1, with the addition of a ‘sprint race’ for the first time in the sport’s history. However, Sebastian Vettel isn’t particularly happy with the rules that come to play in this 100-km race.


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The German, along with Alpine driver, Esteban Ocon, demanded that the sprint race requires minor tweaks, as they pointed out unfair play with a specific aspect.

Sebastian Vettel unhappy with the F1 sprint race


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Over the years, the pole position had always gone to the driver that finished in P1 over qualifying. However, with the inclusion of the sprint race, that isn’t the case anymore. Instead, the winner of the sprint race will be hailed as the pole man.

How fair is that? Well, not so much, according to the 4-time world champion.

During the British Grand Prix press conference, Vettel reckoned that it is completely wrong to hand the pole position over to the winner of the sprint race. Why you might ask?

The Aston Martin driver felt that pole positions must always be a reward for the car that sets the fastest lap time on the track.

So pole goes to the winner of the sprint race? I think that’s wrong,” he said, according to Autosport. “Pole is the fastest lap time achieved or the fastest lap time in qualifying.”

Call it sprint quali, so it’s not complicated: Ocon

Ocon too laid out his opinion along with Vettel during the press conference. The Frenchman reckoned that it would make sense if F1 calls the short burst session as ‘Sprint Qualifying’ rather than a ‘Sprint Race’.

Then we call sprint quali sprint race so it’s not complicated,” Ocon said. Vettel, however, opined that sprint races shouldn’t meddle with the present approach.

He further demanded that F1 open up an entirely new ‘column’ for sprint races to prevent any statistical clashes with qualifying.

Formula One F1 – Steiermark Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Austria – June 24, 2021 Alpine’s Esteban Ocon during the press conference Pool via REUTERS/Christian Bruna

It’s a new discipline. So you just add a new column to the statistics,” Vettel said.


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F1 will be trying out this new version of the race weekend for the first time at Silverstone. Hence, by the end of this weekend, there are going to be several other suggestions from the teams and their drivers.

So, will F1 adhere to their demands and carry out the changes, before the arrival of the next sprint race-induced weekend?

Watch Story: What Are Sprint Races & Where Will They Be Held?


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Rohit Kumar

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Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.