Ross Brawn confirms F1 intention to increase number of sprint races next season

Ross Brawn has stated F1 ’s intentions to increase the number of sprint races held next season. Three have been planned for this year, with the first taking place in Imola this weekend. Max Verstappen overtook Charles Leclerc late on to take the win and secure pole position.

Following its conclusion, Brawn spoke with the media to explain the sport's plans for more sprint races moving forward. “We want to discuss increasing it to six for next year,” Brawn said.

“I think [the teams] can see the success. I think we didn’t know quite where we were with the old cars last year but I think they can see the way this year is feeding into the new cars and the philosophy so I’m optimistic they’ll see the value in it. What you should always remember about the Sprint is it gives you a great Friday as well, we have qualifying on the Friday so we have three days of action for the fans and we can’t ignore that.”

The added event certainly helps to spice things up on a race weekend and with qualifying moved to a Friday, it also provides three days of meaningful action and more entertainment for the fans and competition for the drivers. More discussions regarding the plans are set to take place next week, with the next Grand Prix not scheduled until May 8, the date of the inaugural Miami GP.

Verstappen lamented his poor start to yesterday's sprint as he was overtaken by Leclerc almost straight away, but was able to hunt him down and take the lead in the closing stages. "The start was very poor and we need to analyse why it happened like that because I think all the (practice) starts I actually did this weekend have been quite good, so (it was) a bit weird," the Dutchman said.

"When I let the clutch go, just a lot of wheel spin and no traction. So my start was very, very poor. My start was just terrible. I didn't have gear sync for whatever reason. So, yeah, I need to see exactly what went wrong."

Leclerc, who was unable to hold off his rival, largely due to the degradation of his tyres, says his team need to find a “cure” for the issue. "I think the pace is quite similar [between Red Bull and Ferrari]," the championship leader said.

"What made the difference at the end was the graining phase that I went through. If we manage to cure that all for tomorrow, I'm pretty sure that we're in the fight for the win. If not, it's going to be a bit more difficult."

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