Akshita Patel

Mercedes Boss Approves New F1 Sprint Format, Excited For Challenge

F1 commission, on Tuesday, approved the proposal of making amendments to the traditional sprint race format. As per the new format, the teams will have only one practice session on Friday to determine their setups for the regular qualifying session, which will be held later in the same evening. This session will determine the starting position of the grid for Sunday’s main race.

This time, Saturday will have a “Sprint Shootout,” which, in simpler terms, means a qualifying session for the sprint race. The actual 100 km sprint race will take place shortly after, which would now be a standalone event, having no impact on the main race. The idea behind the new format is to make the sprint more enthralling for the fans and encourage the drivers to take risks without worrying about its impact on the main race. While the tweaked format has received mixed reactions, Mercedes’s boss has given it the green light.


Toto Wolff Excited For Baku Race, Expects A Challenging Weekend Due To New Sprint Race Format

Toto Wolff
Toto Wolff TP Mercedes © Sebastian Kawka for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Mercedes finds itself in a bit of turmoil. The new W14 has not performed up to expectations, and the team faces an uphill task of catching up with a flying Redbull on the front. Despite the initial setback, the Silver Arrows team principal, Toto Wolff, is excited about this weekend. Baku will host the season’s first sprint race with a tweaked format. Toto feels it would be challenging for the teams to decide their ideal tire setup as they have only one practice session on Friday.

Regardless, the Mercedes boss is as excited as the fans and said Baku is a challenging track that leaves no room for errors for the drivers. Moreover, with the addition of sprint, the race will be even more interesting and fun for the fans to watch. Keeping the excitement aside, Mercedes must stay vigilant during the weekend. Baku’s street circuit takes a toll on the machinery. On top of that, five races are scheduled to take place in the F1 calendar in the coming six weeks. Hence, the team would not have much time window to perform the necessary repairs.

Mercedes Boss Promises Steady Improvements To W14

Toto Wolff
Toto Wolff is one of the longest-serving team bosses on the F1 grid (Image: HOCH ZWEI/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images)

Ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff spoke about the current state of the W14. He said the team of engineers had worked hard during this four-week break and tried to optimize the time to the best of their ability. Wolff added that while Australian Grand Prix displayed positive outcomes, they would make sure not to get carried away with one result.

The Silver Arrows leader promised steady upgrades in the W14. He says they possess no magic bullet to fix the car. But will introduce timely upgrades to the machinery in due course of time. Toto Wolff has the belief that the car will continue to evolve over the coming race weekends. Let’s hope those promises come true for Mercedes as they look to regain their dominance on the track. For now, they stand third in the constructor’s championship with a difference of 67 points to the table toppers, Redbull.