Toto Wolff’s brutally honest take on Formula 1 Sprint Qualifying
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says that changes must be made to Sprint Qualifying if it is to be used more often in the 2022 Formula 1 season.
The sprint qualifying format was introduced this year in hopes to spice up the competition amid a Mercedes-dominant V6-Turbo Hybrid era.
The new format reworked the race weekends for 2 races so far this 2021 Formula 1 season wherein Saturday’s practice sessions were replaced by a Qualifying session which would determine the grid order for the sprint race — drivers who place on the podium also inherit additional points. The results of the sprint race would then determine the grid order for Sunday’s race.
The brand new format has been trialed at the Silverstone circuit in the British Grand Prix, and the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza in the Italian Grand Prix, respectively.
The Mercedes boss thinks F1 CEO, Stefano Domenicali must make changes to the format if it is to be used in more races for the coming season — hinting at revisions to the schedule and points distribution across the grid.
Via Hazel Southwell of RaceFans:
“If we were to do more then maybe the format overall needs to be tweaked. How many points are attributed, is it really three, two, one or should it go back to 10th place, without undervaluing the grand prix? So that’s a fine line, you need to need to balance.” He adds, “So if it’s not four and not eight, maybe we will come out with six [events].”
Toto Wolff also understands that there are massive business implications that come with using more or less sprint qualifying. Furthermore, he acknowledges his traditionalist view on the race weekend — which historically, races are only held on Sunday afternoons. It’ll surely be interesting to see what happens next season.