Vettel: wrong to credit Sprint winner with pole


Ever the purist, Sebastian Vettel says it is wrong to credit the winner of Saturday's sprint race with the pole winner statistic.

This weekend, the driver who claims pole position in Friday evening's Sprint Qualifying will start Saturday's race - to decide Sunday's grid - will start from pole.

However, it is the winner of Saturday's race who will be officially credited with pole when it comes to the record books.

Four-time world champion, Sebastian Vettel, one of the few F1 drivers aware of the sport's history and its records, believes this is wrong.

"Pole is the fastest lap time achieved in qualifying, so it gets all a bit confusing," the German told reporters at Silverstone today. "Obviously it depends, if this is a one-off, it doesn't do much harm but if we end up doing ten sprint races next year or in the future, I just think it's a bit weird.

"Pole position should go to the guy who is fastest on one lap," he continued. "It's a new discipline. They didn't have it 50 years ago and now they have it. So you add a new column to the statistics."

Bernie Ecclestone, no fan of the Sprint format, is similarly concerned by the way in which statistics will be compromised.

"I don't agree with it," he told The Guardian. "The minute you start mucking around with these things, the history disappears and that is not a good thing.

"People would say somebody has 70 pole positions but that has gone now," he added. "There is no such thing as a pole position.

"I don't think it is going to work and I don't think it will continue. It is an unnecessary confusion for no reason."

Of course, Ecclestone was in charge while the points format was continually tinkered with, eventually leading to the scenario whereby a driver yet to win a Grand Prix, far less a title, has effectively scored more points than a multiple world champion...and that's without the double-points awarded in Abu Dhabi a few years back.

Despite his misgivings over the pole stat however, Vettel admits to being intrigued by the new format being trialled this weekend.

"We are down to one-hour practice sessions, which in the end I think I quite like because there's less hanging around in the garage and more action on track, which we prefer," said the German. "Now, there will be one hour and that's it, straight into qualifying. So we'll need to be straight on it right from the start and it should be exciting.

"It's something new, and that is always exciting. We'll see how it turns out. Lots of unknowns but we'll give it a go."

Check out our Thursday gallery from Silverstone, here.

Article from Pitpass (

Published: 15/07/2021
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