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Formula 1

Perez: ‘Very boring’ F1 sprint races don’t add anything

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
3 min read

Red Bull driver Sergio Perez says he doesn’t see the benefit of the “very boring” Formula 1 sprint race given the lack of overtaking.

Perez was one of the few drivers to gain a place on track outside of the first lap after fighting his way past Aston Martin’s Lance stroll to finish ninth, having fallen behind him at the start.

But he was unsurprised when told some fans were disappointed with the sprint race given his experience in the cockpit was similar.

“The same [as them], to be honest – just very boring, very boring,” said Perez.

“There’s nothing happening in it and I don’t see the benefit of having the sprint race.

“It’s also boring for fans as it’s boring for drivers, so it doesn’t bring anything, to be honest.”

Perez pointed to the difficulty of overtaking in current F1 cars without a significant laptime delta as one of the key problems.

He also suggested F1 had picked the wrong circuits for the sprint, which was first held at Silverstone and will be used for a third time at a yet-to-be-selected track, which is planned to be Interlagos.

“The problem that we have is that with the current Formula 1 cars, to actually overtake you need a very big delta. And to achieve that you have to have some kind of degradation,” said Perez.

“I think they are picking the wrong tracks as well, but I don’t know where it can be a good place to try.

“The problem is it’s too short and you don’t feel any degradation. I don’t know [how to improve it], maybe with the DRS [use rules] or something like that. That would be good.”

Sergio Perez Italian GP Monza F1

Perez accepts that the 2022 rules might improve the spectacle given they are designed to be easier to follow in and improve raceability.

“Well, if the overtake reduces to half of the delta, let’s say, then probably you can make something out of it because we would like a bit more overtaking in the race,” said Perez.

“But with the current regs it’s really hard to get anything.”

Formula 1 is using the three sprint qualifying events this season to evaluate the format, with changes possible next season.

But F1’s Ross Brawn talked up the race, suggesting there was action during the sprint that augmented the race weekend.

“What we’re seeing is the whole weekend evolving,” said Brawn.

“We’ve got a three-stage weekend. We’ve got quite a different complexion on the race tomorrow than what we thought we had after qualifying on Friday. I think it’s great in that respect.

“A little bit quiet at the front of the grid, but then you get that in races anyway. Plenty of action in the middle, and plenty of action at the start. So I think it’s added to the whole weekend.”

Italian GP F1 sprint Monza

Brawn added that there was “probably an element in this event of drivers taking a little less risk”, but said it was good that Pierre Gasly would get to rejoin the action tomorrow after a broken front wing forced his retirement.

Perez agreed that making the sprint a standalone race rather than what decides the grid for Sunday would “probably” help encourage action, yet added: “But I know the risk you will take will be on the first lap because after the problem is overtaking, to achieve that threshold.

“Right now we have a [required delta] threshold of about a second and a bit, so to reach that is really difficult.”

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