Montoya: F1 fans short attention span justifies sprint races

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Former F1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya believes sprint qualifying races are "the way forward" for Grand Prix racing which needs to address the ever-shortening attention span of the sport's fans.

F1 teams have reportedly agreed to trial a Saturday afternoon 100-kilometer qualifying race at three venues this season, starting at Silverstone in mid-July, in a bid to evaluate the merits of the format and its impact on the fans.

Montoya sees the initiative as the right move to boost the spectacle on the track and the audience's interest.

"You're going to start realizing that the attention span of people gets smaller so you can’t hope people sit down and watch one race on TV for two hours," the 45-year-old Columbian told

"People like us that love the sport, we do it. The younger generations are going to struggle. I think what F1 is talking about is sprint races and this is the way forward."

Montoya, a seven-time Grand Prix winner who raced with Williams and McLaren between 2001 and 2006, has been a frequent visitor to the F1 paddock in the recent past.

The two-time Indy 500 winner believes Liberty Media has done a good job managing F1 since 2017, not only financially but also in terms of creating a positive atmosphere around and inside the sport.

"I think they're in really good shape," he said. "Formula 1 has been very interesting since Liberty came in and there have been a lot of changes and honestly, when you go to the paddock it's shocking how much nicer it is nowadays than it used to be.

"It’s just nicer, people are way friendlier. It's a much nicer place to be."

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