Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner asserts that Formula 1’s Sprint format can be improved by adding “more jeopardy to it”.

For the first time ever, the Circuit of the Americas played host to an F1 Sprint race. But it proved to be a drab affair, with only four drivers staying within DRS range of another car by the end of 19 laps.

The Sprint format was introduced back in 2021 as a means to spice up select grand prix weekends, with substantial tweaks having been made in the intervening years.

This year saw the number of grands prix to use the arrangement increase from three to six, with a separate qualifying session – titled Sprint Shootout – setting the grid.

Furthermore, points were also awarded beyond the top three to ensure the top eight drivers scored, ranging from eight points for the winner down to one point for eighth.

However, Horner believes that placing even more points on offer or reversing the grid would be a way to avoid the type of mundane encounter that played out in Austin.

“I think you have got to add a bit more jeopardy to it,” Horner said via Autosport.

“Whether you do a reverse the top 10 or something, but then you’ve got to add enough points to it to make it worth the drivers to really go for it.”

Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal. 20.10.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 19, United States Grand Prix, Austin, Texas, USA, Qualifying Day

Horner’s comments come despite Red Bull maintaining its flawless record in the Sprint this year as Max Verstappen dominated from pole to win by 9.5s over Lewis Hamilton.

The long-serving Red Bull team boss insists that the sport must be open to making changes to improve the overall spectacle.

“It still doesn’t quite feel… [special when] you win a Sprint race,” Horner noted. “Obviously, it doesn’t mean quite as much as a grand prix, but I think that we’re in a process where we need to be open to change and evolution.

“I think that the concept is fine, but I think the execution: we can do a better job in making it more exciting for the viewer.”

But Horner has denied that the Sprint setup should be abandoned entirely, insisting that the idea remains a “good” one that purely needs to be refined in certain areas.

“I think that the concept of the Sprint is still good, I just think the execution of it, I think it’s an opportunity to do something a bit different,” he added.

“I think that there’s still more that we could do. I don’t know, it needs some thought to tune it up.”

Horner’s criticism follows COTA boss Bobby Epstein admitted ahead of Saturday’s running that the inclusion of the Sprint had not boosted ticket sales as expected at the venue.

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