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"Let's give it a go," say Horner and Wolff of sprint races

NEWS STORY
12/03/2021

Though a final decision has yet to be agreed, Christian Horner and Toto Wolff are in favour of trialling sprint races on Saturday afternoons.

Yet to be officially rubber-stamped, with F1 boss, Stefano Domenicali already claiming that it will be used at Silverstone, it appears that the introduction of sprint races to decide Sunday's grid order is only a matter of dotting the Is and crossing the Ts.

Speaking at today's press conference, Red Bull boss, Christian Horner and his Mercedes counterpart, Toto Wolff threw their weight behind the idea.

"There's always a million reasons not to do something, but I think the concept's interesting," said Horner. "I think the way they're looking at introducing it is reasonably responsible over three events, so why don't we try it? Let's give it a go.

"There's a lot of work going on behind the scenes with the team managers and the sporting directors to ensure the right regulations are in place for it," he added. "Hopefully it will be an interesting spectacle. But if it's what the promoters want to do, we're happy to support."

"Speaking for our team and hearing the opinions, we are probably more on the purist side," added Wolff.

"We appreciate the 70-year history of having the Grand Prix on a Sunday," he added, though until the late 60s races were often held on Saturdays, as was the 1985 South African Grand Prix. "But I would agree that one thing is for sure, by having a little race on Saturday, we will have a large increase in audiences. I've seen it in DTM and Touring Cars, that we were almost able to double the TV audiences with the second race.

"I think we should give it a go," he continued, "and then be really honest to ourselves, what was the financial impact, and impact on the eyeballs, that we were able to generate? What was the show factor?

"As Christian said, there's many pros and cons," he admitted. "I think if we all stick our heads together, we can find a solution that is of mutual benefit. Formula 1 is what we do all together and we need to entertain the people."

"We're very supportive to give it a go, as long as it doesn't change artificially the pecking order in Formula 1, which the current proposal doesn't do," said Andreas Seidl. "I think there have been some good meetings, together with FIA and Formula 1 in the last weeks to define the details, because the devil is always in the details.

"But I think we have a good proposal now on the table, and I think we will come to a final conclusion this weekend, and then it's down to Formula 1."

Check out our Day 1 pre-season test gallery from Bahrain, here.

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