Wolff: Don't use a 'baseball bat' to tweak Sprint format

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Toto Wolff has urged Formula 1 to take a conservative approach to tweaking the sport's Sprint weekend format.

F1 teams have reportedly offered their unanimous support for changes to the Sprint race format, with the 30-minute mad dash being assigned its own qualifying session.

Teams would kick off their Sprint weekend with free practice on Friday morning followed by a qualifying session in the afternoon that would determine the Sprint race grid.

Everyone would then enjoy another qualifying session on Saturday morning that would define the starting order for Sunday's main event.

The potential format changes that would be implemented at F1's six Sprint weekends this season are expected to be finalized at the next meeting of the World Motor Sport Council on April 25, just three days before F1's first Sprint race in Baku.

Wolff is all for debating the changes and new ideas promoted by F1 boss Stefano Domenicali, but the Mercedes team principal warns against a swift adoption of the new provisions.

"We all share the same objective: we want the sport to continue to develop well and grow its audiences," Wolff explained in Australia recently.

"We just need to find a common denominator of what the best principle is."


While open to dialogue, Wolff believes the current proposal has too many loose ends that need to be resolved, in terms for instance of tyre usage and engine allocation.

"I’m more on the conservative side," he added. "I like qualifying, I like the grand prix, the great prize, but we have to also be open minded about where the sport is going to go and some of the sprint races have been fantastic.

"So whatever Stefano decides is good, I think he will have all the data on the table what is good for the audiences, what is good for the brand and then we just want to maybe try and tweak things without using a baseball bat, but with a Stanley knife.

"I think two qualifying sessions per se is not something that's bad, but even if we stick with the current [qualifying] format, I think we wouldn't be able to do this with the engine management, and I think Pirelli hasn't got enough tyres.

"That's something that needs to be solved."

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