Daniel Ricciardo pushes against the FIA’s supposed plan of introducing Sprint Races every weekend in Formula One

Daniel Ricciardo has been leading the charge in dismissing the plan of introducing Sprint Races every weekend.


Daniel Ricciardo pushes against the FIA’s supposed plan of introducing Sprint Races every weekend in Formula One

Daniel Ricciardo (via imago)

Daniel Ricciardo, fresh off of his second comeback in the 2023 Formula One season, enjoyed his latest Grand Prix as he finished P7 at the Mexican Grand Prix. The Australian driver is slated to appear driving his AlphaTauri next season according to his contract extension with the team. Ricciardo, hence, commented on the possible future of F1 as reports hinted towards the possibility of introducing Sprint races to every weekend.

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Ricciardo was quick to dismiss the idea as he shared his personal experience about the newly introduced format. The ‘Honey Badger’ began expressing how he has enjoyed certain sprint races as reported by Autosport.

I've done three sprints. I liked some of them, there's room for a few of them. I prefer the conventional weekend. A dozen would be fine, but I wouldn't go down the MotoGP route having it every weekend.

The Australian driver compared the plan to host a Sprint race every weekend to the current MotoGP format. The Motorcycle World Championship has decided to include Sprint Races at every circuit, this has severely impacted the flow of the Championship and has brought even more racing to fans.

 The Sprint format was introduced to F1 in 2021, the 2023 calendar included 6 Sprint races across 6 separate Grand Prix weekends. Ricciardo’s comments suggest that the driver wouldn’t mind having a dozen sprint races every year.

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Why Formula 1 shouldn’t employ desperate measures like MotoGP

As Daniel Ricciardo pointed out, The 2023 MotoGP season is slated to host a sprint race at every single Grand Prix weekend. MotoGP experienced a drastic decrease in their viewership in 2022 (when compared to 2021). The reason behind the dramatic fall in viewership can be attributed to the retirement of the most beloved MotoGP star in the sport’s history Valentino Rossi decided to hang up his leathers at the end of 2021.

Valentino Rossi at Assen 2013 (via ESPN)
Valentino Rossi at Assen 2013 (via ESPN)

The FIM, following Rossi’s retirement employed desperate measures to significantly ramp up the amount of races and introduced the Sprint format to MotoGP. The problem here is apparent, the Motorcycle Championship, already followed a sprint format – without a pit stop. The only major difference between the Grands Prix and the Sprint is that the Spring allows for lesser tire degradation. The viewership of MotoGP has seen a substantial increase but little of that can be attributed to the sprint races as the 2023 season is currently the venue of a dramatic Championship Battle between Jorge Martin and Pecco Bagnaia.

In contrast, the viewership for Formula 1 has been on the rise. The FIA has been slowly increasing the number of Grand Prix weekends throughout the years and that has produced a significant increase in the amount of ‘racing’ on display. Secondly, a sprint race across the calendar risks Driver and team fatigue. And lastly, the gradual increase in the number of races has previously proved to further favor a certain dominating team in the motorsport. Thus, more racing would equal more points to Red Bull and Verstappen, making the title fight even less of a competition.

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