Formula 1 racing needs to change after failing to meet expectations

Formula 1 racing needs to change after failing to meet expectations

The weekend in Brazil concluded F1’s biggest showcase of drag races during the 2023 season, having expanded from three to six for this year.

This came amid a change where the sprint race will have no impact on the full Grand Prix qualifying standings, with Saturday serving as a stand-alone day for race and qualifying events.

However, reception among drivers remains particularly lukewarm, with Max Verstappen expressing his desire for F1 to abandon the drag racing experience and return to a “normal race weekend”.

This came after a quick encounter in Brazil that saw moments of excitement beyond the top three amid races for position as the tires began to deteriorate, but it could be considered less successful compared to the 2021 and 2022 performances.

A change to the session arrangement is expected in 2024, with sprint qualifying postponed to Fridays, but Perez suggested the FIA ​​could tweak the format further and stated it would now call for a sprint race to be held on a reverse grid.

“I think if they want to keep this system in the sprint races, we have to change it,” Perez replied in response to a question from Motorsport.com about the modifications desired for the weekend.

“I would suggest a reverse network, something that could make it more interesting for fans because I don’t think it does what we want to achieve.

“Nothing really happens in this type of race. I think (the reversed grid) will mix things up and create more chances and more overtakes.

“If we want to maintain this system, (we have to) try something completely different, because I think over the last couple of years this type of event has not offered a lot of good racing.”

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19, George Russell, Mercedes F1W14, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1W14, at the start

Photography: Simon Galloway/Motorsport Images

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19, George Russell, Mercedes F1W14, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1W14, at the start

One criticism among drivers after the São Paulo race was that the high levels of deterioration seen on the soft tires forced them to spin tires from the early stages of the 24-lap race.

Although this made the race not particularly enjoyable for these drivers, Lando Norris responded that if everyone had had tires to press for the entire race, the race would have been less eventful.

“You still push to the limit, of course, you don’t push like it was in qualifying, but I don’t think we did that in Formula 1 at all,” Norris said.

“But you still see good racing, it seems, from everyone behind you. If everyone is pushing hard, I would say you’ll probably see less overtakes than you would see today. In that sense, you’re probably asking for a more boring race, which is not what you want.

“I think what we went through today was tough, maybe not the most fun; you don’t feel like you’re pushing as much, but you’re still riding at the limit of your grip and all that stuff.

“It’s still a challenge for us behind the wheel, and I think it’s exciting for the people who are doing it right and the people who aren’t doing it right. But if you don’t have any degradation at all, I’d probably say, ‘We’re not going to have a single overtake.’ Throughout the entire race.”

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