McLaren confident sprint races will not “artificially change the pecking order” · RaceFans

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Start, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2019

McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl is confident Formula 1 can devise a sprint race format which will not affect the competition in an artificial way.

The team opposed an earlier attempt to introduce sprint races last year, which included reversed grids. This aspect of the proposal has been dropped from the F1’s latest effort to introduce the extra races on Saturdays. Seidl said that change was key to McLaren supporting the new proposal when it was tabled at last week’s F1 Commission meeting.

A working group has now been tasked with devising final regulations for sprint races. The F1 Commission will then vote on whether to introduce sprint races at three rounds on this year’s calendar.

“We from McLaren’s side were supportive of that discussion,” said Seidl. “[With] the initiative, for us, as we have communicated also last year, it was simply important that when we speak about different race formats that it’s not something that will try to artificially change the pecking order like a reverse grid situation, for example, which is not the case in the discussion we are having at the moment. That’s why we were supportive.”

The working group is due to meet next week. Seidl is confident they will be able to produce acceptable regulations.

“It’s clear it needs now a working group to sort out the details as quickly as possible because the devil is always in the detail,” he said.

“But with a commitment from all teams really supporting this initiative I’m sure that’s something we can overcome quickly. And then, we’re actually looking forward to try something like this this year and then see how we go from there towards the future.”

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