Sergio Perez wants reverse grid sprint races, Max Verstappen wants them scrapped completely

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Sergio Perez He believes Formula One should use reverse grids to set the starting order for sprint races next year or scrap the idea of ​​shorter races altogether.

The sixth and final sprint race of the 2023 season took place in Brazil on Saturday, with Perez’s Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen 24-lap race lead to victory Lando Norris.

Verstappen has been critical of sprint races since their introduction in 2021, despite small changes to the format each year that have tried to improve the show.

The initial concept for Formula One was for the 100km (62.1 mi) race to feature an inverted grid — possibly determining the starting order by flipping the championship standings.

By comparison the minimum length of an F1 Grand Prix, according to regulations, is 305 km (190 mi).

The reverse grid idea was rejected by the teams but as a concession they agreed to three sprints in 2021 and 2022, the order set the grid for the Grand Prix, which then became six races in 2023 featuring the sprint as a separate race. which is unrelated to the main event on Sunday.

Perez believes now is the time to go back to the original concept or ditch Sprint altogether.

“I think if they want to keep this format of the sprint race, we have to change it,” Perez said after finishing third in Saturday’s race.

“I would suggest a reverse grid, something similar, to make it more interesting for the fans because I don’t think what we want to achieve is working.

“Nothing really happens in this kind of race.”

Asked if he was serious about the reverse grid, Perez added: “Yes, I think it will mix things up and create more opportunities, a lot more overtaking.

“If we want to keep this format, give it something quite different. This type of event hasn’t produced very good racing in the last few years.”

The current format sees qualifying on Friday for Sunday’s Grand Prix, with a second qualifying – known as a shootout – on Saturday which sets the grid for the 100km sprint race later on the same day.

That order of sessions may change next year so that the shootout is on Friday evening, the sprint race is the first session on Saturday, Grand Prix qualifying is the second session on Saturday and the full-length race is still the main event on Sunday.

When Verstappen was asked what he would change, he said: “Just a normal race weekend, please. thank you

“I am not interested in any change [to the format]. I don’t like it.”

The day before he won the Sao Paulo sprint race, Verstappen qualified on pole position, where he will start Sunday’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

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