Max Verstappen has doubled down on wanting Formula 1’s Sprint format removed ahead of the configuration returning for the final time in 2023 this weekend in Brazil.

The Dutchman has been a regular critic of the revised weekend alteration since it was introduced into F1 two years ago, initially at only three grands prix on the calendar.

Last year, in a bid to improve the spectacle, F1 increased the number of Sprint events to six and extended the points places down from only the first three to the top eight.

Further tweaks followed for this season with the introduction of a second qualifying session, titled Sprint Shootout, in place of FP2 to determine the grid for the Sprint.

However, the format again came under intense scrutiny at last month’s United States Grand Prix amid Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton’s post-race disqualifications.

Mercedes claimed the lack of practice time on a Sprint weekend contributed as the team was unable to discover that its setup would wear the plank beyond the mandated amount across a race distance on the bumpy Circuit of the Americas track surface.

Verstappen, who denied that every car could be checked post-race, asserts the problem would have been avoided entirely with the presence of the conventional schedule.

Speaking in Mexico City last weekend, Verstappen said: “I think we should just get rid of the Sprint weekend, and then everyone can set up their cars normally. Because it wouldn’t have happened if we would have had a normal race weekend I think.

“These things only happen really I think when you have a Sprint weekend when everything is so rushed in-between FP1 and qualifying, you think ‘uhhh I think we might be OK’. From our side, I think we went a bit too conservative, but that of course is still better than the other way.”

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB19. 21.10.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 19, United States Grand Prix, Austin, Texas, USA, Sprint Day.

Following Austin’s dire 19-lap encounter, Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner suggested that reverse grids could increase the entertainment value of Sprint races.

But Verstappen was unenthused when that possibility was put to him, citing that F1 should prioritise making the grid more competitive over changes to the format.

“Why do we need to try and invent something? I think our product works, if you just make sure that the cars are competitive and the rules stay the same for a long time, why are we always inventing new things? It almost sounds out of craziness that we need to come up with something,” he argued.

“Just leave it the same. In football, you don’t change the rules or in other sports. It’s been like that for 100 years.

“Why do we suddenly need to come up with other things to try and make it entertaining? I think if you have a good race on your hands with cars being close to each other, then you don’t need a Sprint format or weekend.”

The three-time F1 champion has taken more Sprint victories than any other driver on the grid but claims he receives “no satisfaction” from triumphing in the shortened races.

When asked if he would favour a standalone Sprint championship, he answered: “It doesn’t mean anything to me, even if you would win it. It’s the same now. You cross the line and it’s, alright, tomorrow’s the race, the main one, that’s how it goes. There’s no satisfaction to win a Sprint for me.”

He added: “Honestly for me, they do what they want with the Sprint format, because I find it really not interesting. It’s just what I said before. Why do we need to keep on trying to make changes to it when I feel like it fails?

Pressed on whether there was an alternative weekend layout he would be potentially interested in putting forward, Verstappen replied: “Nope. Just the normal race format and having all the teams close to each other, that will be exciting enough anyway.”

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