Verstappen cautiously welcomes 'more logical' F1 Sprint tweaks

© XPB 

Max Verstappen has offered his measured response to the recently voted revisions to F1’s Sprint format for 2024, describing them as "more logical" than their previous iteration.

Last year’s format faced widespread criticism due to "parc ferme" regulations. These locked a car setup after Friday’s opening practice session, forcing teams to gamble on settings, and eventually carry any misguided adjustment through the remainder of the weekend.

To address this concern, the 2024 format adopts a new schedule.

Free practice and sprint qualifying will take place on Fridays, while the sprint race itself will kick off Saturday’s action, with qualifying for Sunday’s event unfolding later in the day.

This allows teams much-needed flexibility: parc ferme can be reopened after the sprint race, granting everyone the opportunity to analyze data and adjust setups based on learnings from the 30-minute mad dash.

Read also:

This opens up strategic possibilities and avoids penalizing drivers for early setup choices that might not translate well to the full grand prix distance.

The revised format was agreed upon earlier this month by the F1 Commission, with official approval expected from the World Motorsport Council on February 28th.

“I think it’s a bit more logical, I would say, with how the format is formed,” Verstappen told the media at the presentation last Thursday in Milton Keynes of Red Bull’s 2024 car.

“I mean, for me I don’t get more excited by winning a Sprint or fighting for these kinds of races, but yeah, at least a bit more logical I would say.”

Beyond the very concept of adding a short race to the weekend’s agenda, Verstappen’s main beef with the format was precisely the restrictions imposed on set-up by parc ferme. The Dutchman welcomed the changes.

“Yeah, I think that’s a bit better,” he said. “Sometimes you get stuck, and you know that your weekend is ruined, you can’t really change anything. So for sure, it will help a bit.”

In 2024, China, Miami, Austria, Austin, Brazil and Qatar will all host a Saturday Sprint.

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter