Fernando Alonso feels that Sprint Races were introduced for the fans’ enjoyment and they should get the final say regarding its existence.
F1 experimented with it’s newly launched idea of ‘Sprint Weekends’ in 2021. Silverstone, Monza and Interlagos were the chosen tracks for the inaugural season of Sprint racing.
These weekends involve just one practice session on Friday before Qualifying on the same day. Saturday sees the teams get another hour of free practice, before they line up on the grid for the Sprint Race. The order for the grid gets decided based on Friday’s Qualifying session. The order in which the drivers finish Saturday’s race, is how the grid gets arranged for Sunday’s main event.
— Formula 1 (@F1) July 17, 2021
F1 fans showed mixed reactions over the introduction of these races to the calendar. Some feel that it adds more to the entire weekend, while others feel that it does little and puts the teams under more pressure.
There have been instances where good Qualifying runs from drivers get nulled due to incidents in Sprint Races. On the other hand, drivers have often capitalized on poor Qualifying runs by going in strong in those races.
Two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso feels that, the involvement of Sprint races in the sport, should be decided by fans.
Fans need to decide what was good and what was bad, says Fernando Alonso
The Alpine driver had a good experience with Sprint Races in 2021. In Silverstone, he qualified for Saturday’s race on 11th but made up places to start Sunday on seventh. He repeated a similar feat in Monza, where he made up two places, compensating for a relatively poor Qualifying session.
However, at the end of the day, theses races were made as a ‘spectacle for fans’. So, the final call has to made by viewers of the sport, Alonso believes.
“And then there are two races. Yes , it’s going well for us, and maybe that’s why I have a high opinion of sprint racing.”
“I think this format is made for the fans. To improve the show and attract different and new fans. to sport. I think we should ask them and see what they think: “How about the weekend? What was good, what was not good? And if we have to change something, they must decide.”
“I think for the teams, it wasn’t better and it wasn’t worse. It was just different. We prepare for the weekend in a different way, but in the end it’s the same for everyone. So I think we have to put the fans first. And they have to tell us what they didn’t like and try to improve it,” the former Ferrari driver concluded.