Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff has confirmed talks are underway
for major changes to F1’s Sprint format. The alternative schedule
has faced mixed reviews since the first trial at the 2021 British
Grand Prix, though F1 has pressed on with the format since, albeit
with a number of changes, as the Sprint quota was increased from
three to six races this term. This weekend’s São Paulo Grand Prix
marks the final event of the six this year and whilst the format
has been successful at Interlagos across the three years, a number
of lacklustre weekends in the other five events have sparked calls
for an overhaul. Rumours that the format will be tweaked for next
season – with the Shootout moved to the Friday, Sprint to Saturday
morning and Grand Prix qualifying to Saturday afternoon – have
emerged and asked by Sky Sports F1 whether these were true, he
replied: “That’s correct. “We’ve been talking with Stefano. It is
his decision but then you can correlate it easier… you do the
Sprint Shootout and then the second qualifying for the race, which
would be Saturday at two o’clock, which is the time we know. “It
would maybe create less confusion.” It was then put to Wolff that
across the season there has been three different tyre allocations
depending on weekend format and two different qualifying formats on
a Sprint weekend. Asked whether there needed to be a less
complicated format, Wolff replied: “I’m getting confused. “I think
we all have the same objectives, between F1 and the teams. I’ve
said it often but I am not keen on these weekends but, if it makes
sense from the audience’s point of view, then obviously we do need
it.” Wolff dismisses practice changes The last Sprint took place at
the United States Grand Prix, where Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari’s
Charles Leclerc were disqualified after the main race for excessive
plank wear. This was attributed to a lack of practice time with
only one hour afforded to teams but on whether F1 should increase
Sprint practice by 30 minutes, Wolff insisted: “It is the same for
everyone. “You could say from an engineering standpoint that we
wish we had more. “But the idea of the Sprint weekend was to make
more jeopardy and that is achieved by having 60 minutes [of

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