Wolff Demands Major Changes to Sprint Race F1 Format As Verstappen Beats Hamilton

Published 07/17/2021, 2:23 PM EDT
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 15: Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff looks on in the Team Principals Press Conference during practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)


It was all looking good for Mercedes & Co. on Friday, with Lewis Hamilton taking pole position for the first-ever sprint qualifying in F1. However, it all went downhill on Saturday afternoon, as Max Verstappen stole Hamilton’s victory at Silverstone.

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Team Principal of the Silver Arrows, Toto Wolff, has revealed that he isn’t a fan of the sprint format and thinks that eight laps should be more than enough to make the Grand Prix exciting.

Toto Wolff stands his ground and feels the sprint format should be different

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Speaking after the inaugural sprint qualifying round, Wolff said, as quoted by Motorsport.Total, “Fan of the start, Instead of 17 laps, it would be good to only drive five or eight.

Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit – Portimao, Portugal – April 30, 2021 Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff talks in the Team Principals Press Conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

In addition to the duration of the sprint race, the Austrian also has an issue with the significance of the result of the sprint quali.

“Regardless of the fact that Lewis was in [first place on the grid]. The pole position should be awarded in qualifying and not in the sprint race. I would have said that if it had turned out the other way around.”

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The Austrian boss disappointed to not bag maximum points

The sprint race awarded the top-3 drivers with points. And so, with Hamilton starting in pole and Valtteri Bottas in third, the team hoped to secure as many points as possible on Saturday.

However, the Red Bull prodigy stole the three points, while Hamilton had to settle for two and Bottas just managed to get a single point.

Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 17, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during sprint qualifying REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge

Speaking about the loss of points, Wolff said, “We have lost one point. That’s annoying. But everything is still open for tomorrow. I think all the cars at the front have a pretty similar pace. That creates space for different strategies.”

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The Austrian boss will have his hopes on Lewis and Valtteri as they start the British GP in P2 and P3, respectively. He will hope that they can minimize their errors on Sunday, and score as many points as possible.

What are your predictions for the Brackley-based outfit? Will Hamilton or Bottas end up on the top step of the podium, or will Verstappen steal the show yet again? Let us know in the comments section down below.

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Arpit Gomes

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Arpit Gomes is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier’s Institute, he is a big fan of McLaren and their driver Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. Arpit always looks forward to the paddock moving to Spa and drivers dealing with the exciting Eau Rouge corner as well the straight at Monza.

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