LE CASTELLET, France — FIA president Jean Todt has revealed he is not a fan of Formula One’s plans to introduce sprint qualifying races at a number of rounds later this year.
The proposal received unanimous support from F1’s ten teams and will see the grid for the British and Italian Grands Prix, as well as one other race that has yet to be confirmed, decided by a 100km sprint race.
A traditional qualifying session will still take place on the Friday at those events to decide the grid for the sprint race, but, unlike traditional qualifying, points will be awarded to the top three in the sprint race on Saturday.
Todt, who is due to step down at the end of his term as FIA president later this year, said he did not consider the new idea to be a true race, but was willing to let it go ahead as long as it does not detract from the traditional grand prix on Sunday.
“We don’t call that a race,” Todt said. “For me the race is on Sunday.
“If you ask me if I am a big fan of that, the answer is no. I don’t think Formula One needs it, but on the other side if people want to try something, it’s not going to hurt the race on Sunday.
“It will be a different way of having the starting grid on Sunday. It costs nothing to try.
“I’m curious to see what will happen, but I am sure it will not damage the race on Sunday.
“People may say it might be more interesting on Saturday than on Sunday but that is not a big risk for the image and for the credibility of the championship.”
Formula One is currently deciding on which round towards the end of the season will also have the sprint qualifying race along with Silverstone and Monza.
The U.S. Grand Prix in Austin is under consideration along with the Brazilian Grand Prix in Sao Paulo, if it goes ahead.
Earlier this week, F1’s director of motorsport, Ross Brawn, said he does not want the points awarded in a sprint race to decide this year’s title race.