F1 fans not crazy about Sprint races, survey reveals

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An overwhelming majority of F1 fans don't support the idea of including the sport's novel Sprint Qualifying event at all championship rounds.

F1 rolled out the experimental at Silverstone and at Monza, and will give the 30-minute Saturday afternoon race a final trial in Brazil next month.

While Formula 1 has enthusiastically promoted the idea since its introduction, claiming that feedback from all involved parties has been positive, the results of a Global Fan Survey conducted by Motorsport Network in partnership with F1 and Nielsen Sports reveals that fans are less than excited about the concept.

The survey tallied 167,000 fans, but just 6.7% of respondents believe that the "introduction of sprint race(s) has improved the show", and 60% reject adding a sprint race to ever round of the F1 world championship.

Furthermore, a majority of participants in the survey shot down the idea of introducing reverse grids to spice up the show, with 51.5% rejecting such an initiative.

In the wake of the release last week of F1's draft calendar for 2022, F1 boss Stefano Domenicali revealed that sprint qualifying would likely return next season.

But the Italian, commenting on the survey's results, made clear that there were no plans to making the format a fixture at all rounds in the future.

"We see, from what we see as a figure, the mixed feelings of more traditional fans [who are] less happy for the change, while the new fans are really happy to see things moving in a different way," Domenicali said.

"So it's basically the thing that I see is correct to consider. And that's why, as I state on the survey, we are not even thinking to go with all the grands prix in a different format.

"We believe that we can create a very fixed number, that will be I think six in the near future, with this format, with changes that we are thinking [about] together with the teams in order to improve the quality of the offer."

After next month's final Sprint Qualifying trial, F1 will undertake a comprehensive assessment of the format which is likely to undergo a few changes for 2022.

One idea currently being mulled is to consider the Satudray afternoon mad dash as a standalone event, that would not determine the grid for race day, while championship points could be awarded to more drivers than just the top three.

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