Despite the best efforts of the likes of Ross Brawn, not everyone is convinced that sprint qualifying – due to make its debut at Silverstone next month – will add to the ‘F1 show’.
In a clear case of wanting their cake and eating it, earlier this weekend, Brawn admitted that whilst the sport’s owners are keen to see the sport warm to sprint qualifying, they are fearful of the result of the ‘mini-me race’ ultimately deciding the outcome of the championship – which surely begs the question, ‘then why are you awarding points for it?’.
Speaking at Paul Ricard, out-going FIA president, Jean Todt admitted that he is not a fan of the concept.
“Number one, we don’t call that a race,” he said, according to Motorsport.com. “I had part of the responsibility of not calling that a race… for me the race is on Sunday.
“If you ask me if I’m a big fan of that, the answer is no,” he admitted. “I don’t think F1 needs it. But on the other side, if people want to try something, it’s not going to hurt the race on Sunday. It will be a different way of having a starting grid on Sunday. So it costs to nothing to try.
“I’m curious to see what will come out. But I’m sure that it will not damage the race on Sunday. People may say it was more interesting on Saturday than on Sunday, but that’s not too big a risk for the image and for the credibility of the of the championship.”
While clearly at odds with F1’s move on sprint qualifying, Todt praised the sport’s bosses for the way in which they have keep it going despite the pandemic.
“We all know that we are going through a difficult time,” he said. “And I think the job everybody has been contributing to make all that happening is absolutely remarkable.
“I usually say that it’s in difficult times that you see the strength together, and I think it has been the result of a combination since we restarted the championship last July, almost one year ago.
“This week, we should not be should not have been here, incidentally, it should have been next week. We are going to face three Grands Prix in a row. Every time it has been a problem, a solution has been found.”
Check out our Saturday gallery from Paul Ricard, here.