Alex Albon has conceded his view that Sprint races should be a limited commodity in Formula 1 is “selfish”. The alternative weekend format returns at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, with the Baku City Circuit hosting the first Sprint event at a street venue. Drivers will face qualifying on Friday, a 100km sprint on Saturday and the main Grand Prix on Sunday, though plans are understood to have been agreed to add a second qualifying session in place of second practice to create separation between the two races. The event will mark the first of six Sprint weekends in 2023, with further events taking place in Austria, Belgian, Qatar, the United States and Brazil. In contrast, MotoGP has implemented a Sprint format of its own this season, with each round featuring a shortened race on Saturdays. Qualifying loses purpose Asked if this would be something he would like F1 to consider, Williams driver Albon told media, including : “I think every driver is going to be selfish to what they would want. “I wouldn’t want it, and that’s purely being selfish because I feel like what’s exciting about a race is the ones who qualify… let’s say outperform in qualifying and starting a bit further ahead [than they should], they lose that advantage when you do a Sprint race. “Cars get passed, and then you start your race exactly in the position that the speed of your car is actually at. “So if you do that every weekend, in some respects, qualifying loses its purpose and doing that kind of stuff in some ways makes it more predictable.” Pointing to the mixed-up grid at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, where Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was eliminated in Q2 after a driveshaft failure and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc took a 10-place grid penalty, Albon explained that the Sprint would “almost [be] reducing overtaking”. “Max and Charles, if they started P2 and P7, you wouldn’t really get much going on during the race itself,” he added.

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