Max Verstappen has expanded on his dislike of the Sprint after dominating the United States Grand Prix Sprint – leading to Lewis Hamilton to ask if he was bored.
From pole position, Verstappen was initially within Hamilton’s DRS, but the Red Bull quickly broke away over the course of the 19-lap race to win by 9.4s for a third win from five events in the season.
However, Verstappen is not a fan of the format, believing that the traditional Grand Prix weekend is a better prospect – and backed this up in Austin by suggesting the result of the race itself is largely now known.
Hamilton and Verstappen disagree
“I love it. It’s fantastic! If you want my honest opinion about the sprint weekends, I don’t really get excited by it,” Verstappen explained to media including RacingNews365.
“In qualifying, I just feel like once you complete qualifying, you’re a bit lost. I feel like we only need one qualifying in the weekend where you really put everything on the line and it feels great.
“Like you put it on P1 [in the Sprint Shootout] but I’m like: ‘It’s a Saturday, there’s not many points anyway for the race.’
“Besides that, like now, we’ve done this race, everyone more or less knows what’s going to happen [in the Grand Prix] between all the cars in terms of pace, so that takes a bit of the excitement away from it.
“If we wouldn’t have done [the Sprint] and we only had that qualifying, you don’t really know what’s going to happen before the race, so everyone is very excited, turning on the TV because you don’t know and also we didn’t know. Now we know, a little bit.”
At this point, Hamilton interjected to suggest to the three-time champion that he “sounds like you’re a bit bored.”
Verstappen then responded that boredom was not his gripe that some of the “magic” was taken away by the Sprint.
“I’m not bored but if I were a fan, I would just be disappointed because you more or less know about the picture,” he continued.
“If nothing crazy happens, you know what’s going to happen tomorrow so I find it takes away that magic of waking up on a Sunday morning or whatever, Sunday afternoon, and you turn on the TV.
“You’ve had qualifying but you’re not sure which car is going to be quickest in most of the years and it takes that magic away, I find.”
For his part, Hamilton voiced his support for the format – and the pressure it places on drivers and teams.
“It’s a slightly different perspective when you’re chasing so for us it’s fun,” he said.
“I like having the extra opportunity to get out there and try to squeeze everything, every little bit and more out of the package that we have.
“Can it be better? I’m sure we can learn. I think it’s been exciting for people so I personally quite like the sprint weekends, particularly a Friday I really like where you only have one practice session and then you’re straight into qualifying.”