Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has called on Formula 1 to maintain credibility when deciding on weekend formats in the future.

Last month at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, F1 held its first Sprint weekend of the 2023 season.

However, it had a major shake-up of the usual Sprint format that has been used since its introduction in 2021.

Two separate qualifying sessions were held for Saturday’s shorter race and Sunday’s grand prix, instead of the Sprint setting the grid for the main race.

Drivers and teams had minimal time to prepare as just one practice session was held on Friday morning before they jumped into competitive sessions.

The format was criticised by some, including two-time World Champion Max Verstappen who suggested that F1 should stick to its traditional schedule.

“Just scrap the whole thing,” he said. “I think it’s just important to go back to what we have and make sure every team can fight for the win.”

F1 will have six Sprint weekends this year, which is double the number that took place in 2022.

However, various reports have suggested that Sprint events could be seen at even more race weekends going forward.

Wolff says that F1 is currently in a learning phase with the Sprint format, and has backed the sport to find the balance between entertainment and credibility.

“I think we are learning by doing at the moment with Sprint races or Sprint weekends, because if we can add to the show we have to, so it’s an experimental phase,” he said. 

“Some things work, others maybe not. And then together with the Commercial Rights Holder, with Stefano, we will find the right decisions.

“I’m more on the conservative side and I have a laugh with Stefano [Domenicali, F1 CEO] about that. I like a proper Qualifying session on Saturday and the Grand Prix on Sunday. 

“But as a sport we have to develop also. Maybe there is a different route. 

“So as long as we have aligned objectives, which we have, the best possible entertainment, while maintaining the credibility of the sport, we’ll try things.”

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