Sergio Perez has proposed the implementation of reverse grid Sprint races in Formula 1 to combat the continued criticism towards the revised weekend format.

Since being introduced in 2021, the Sprint configuration has proved divisive among drivers, teams and fans alike, resulting in tweaks being made to the system every year.

Having initially been present at three grands prix, F1 doubled the number of Sprint events to six this season. Meanwhile, a second qualifying session, titled Sprint Shootout, was also introduced to determine the grid for the Sprint race, creating a standalone Saturday separate from Sunday’s grand prix.

But the alterations have failed to inspire an upturn in the spectacle, prompting it to be revealed that F1 is currently discussing with the teams further changes for next year.

Among the ideas currently being touted is switching the two qualifying sessions, paving the way for parc ferme regulations to be relaxed ahead of grand prix qualifying taking place on its traditional later Saturday slot.

However, Verstappen, a long-standing critic of the Sprint, asserts that he’s “not interested in any change” and repeats the stance that he only wants a “normal race weekend”.

The Dutchman’s Red Bull Team Principal, Christian Horner, previously suggested that the sport should potentially be investigating the addition of reverse grid Sprint races.

Speaking after the final Sprint event of 2023 in Sao Paulo, Perez has concurred with Horner’s view, insisting that F1 hasn’t achieved its aim with the amended format.

“I think if they want to get this format of Sprint races, we’ve got to change it,” he said. “I would propose a reverse grid, something like that to make it more interesting for the fans, because I don’t think it’s working, what we want to achieve. And yeah, nothing really happens in these sorts of races.

He added: “I think it would mix up things and create more opportunities, a lot more overtaking. I mean, if we want to keep this format, give it a go on something quite different. Because I think for the last two years this sort of event hasn’t brought a lot of good racing.”

Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing RB19 leads Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari SF-23 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W14. 04.11.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 21, Brazilian Grand Prix, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sprint Day.

The 24-lap encounter on Saturday at the Interlagos circuit was largely dominated by degradation, with Verstappen revealing he was preserving his tyres from the out lap.

However, Norris has cautioned that providing the drivers with the equipment to drive to the limit on every single lap in race trim would not deliver an increase in overtaking.

“I mean, you say we’re not pushing, but you still push to the limit you have,” he explained. “Of course you’re not pushing like it’s qualifying. I don’t think you’ve ever pushed like it’s qualifying, probably ever in Formula 1. But you still saw good racing apparently, from everyone behind.

“So if everyone is pushing flat out, I would say you almost probably see less overtakes than what you did today. So in that sense, you’re probably asking for a more boring race, which is not what you want.

“So I think what we had today was tough and maybe not the most enjoyable, you don’t feel like you’re pushing that much but you’re still driving on the limit of the grip you’ve got and all of those things.

“It’s still a challenge for us behind the wheel. I think it’s exciting for the people who get it right and people who don’t get it right. But if you’ve got no degradation at all, then I’d probably say you’re not going to have one overtake for the whole race.”

The Briton also contends that the drivers’ verdict on the Sprint format is irrelevant as he believes their feedback will not be taken into consideration by F1.

“On the topic of Sprints? Nope. I don’t know, it doesn’t matter what we say,” Norris remarked. “Our choices rarely have much effect with anything. Especially with this. So, everything seems dictated by team bosses and what they want to do and what they choose to do.”

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