Krack on F1's Sprint format: 'F1 must keep its DNA'

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Aston Martin team boss Mike Krack has addressed F1's intention to tweak this year's Sprint race format, accepting that the sport must evolve but insisting that it also "keep its DNA".

F1 teams will enjoy the first of this year's six Sprint events at the end of this month in Azerbaijan. However, format changes are expected after all competitors expressed their unanimous support for making the Sprint race a standalone event.

The new timetable would see two qualifying sessions held over the weekend. The one on Friday afternoon will determine the grid for Sunday, while Saturday will be devoted entirely to the business of sprint racing.

To set the starting order for the Sprint race, a shorter qualifying session will be held on Saturday morning, with the usual three-round elimination system, but with time for only one push lap.

Team principals appear more open to perpetuating and developing the Sprint race concept than F1's drivers, where sentiment remains mixed.

Krack isn't against an evolution of the scheme but warns that the right compromise involving all aspects of the event, be they technical or logistical, need to be reached.

"F1 has to evolve, in general, but F1 also has to keep its DNA," said the Aston boss.

"There [have been] some quite constructive discussions on how to achieve that, because you have to also understand all the stakeholders' interests, which we do, but then also we have a very tight timeline now, with regulations, with tyre availability, with engine mileage and all that.

"All these points, you have to factor in and try to find a sensible compromise and maybe at one point you have also to put the interest of a single team on the side, and look for the big picture."

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It's early days still, but the idea of including a Sprint event at every round has emerged, with F1 attentive to MotoGP's own scheme where a short Saturday afternoon race now takes place at every round of the motorcycle championship.

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton is tentatively onboard with the concept, although he admitted adding a Sprint event at a venue such as Monaco could prove problematic and unjustifiably risky.

"I’ve not really thought about it much," he said in Melbourne last time out. "I think they’ve experimented with the Sprint race weekend, which I think is cool.

"There’s going to be places where it’s not going to be good, like Monaco, where it would just be two of the same race!

“I think that we can be more dynamic, and I think we can look at places like Monaco where perhaps there’s a different kind of solution for that weekend to make it more engaging for fans.

"But then use the sprint races in some places, and maybe there’s something else we could do.

"I like the format on the Sprint weekend where you have that one practice session, there’s a lot of pressure just to get that right, and then you’re straight into qualifying.

"I’ve loved and enjoyed that recently."

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