Valtteri Bottas won the sprint qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix but in a format that is looking unwieldy and turgid he is neither race winner nor does he claim pole position.
Formula One admitted it is considering once more adjusting the sprint feature of the weekend in an attempt to inject it with some excitement.
Bottas has a grid penalty, putting Max Verstappen, who was second, on pole for Sunday’s race. He is in a real position to extend his championship lead over Lewis Hamilton,
who was fifth after a poor start to the 18-lap event and has conceded that Verstappen should gain an easy win.Mattia Binotto: ‘It’s important we understand Ferrari is a unique family’
Sprint qualifying to decide the grid for Sunday’s grand prix is the race F1 is insisting is not a race. The victor does not claim a race win but pole and yet in this case the driver who finished first, Bottas,
will start from the back of the grid having taken a full new power unit this weekend beyond the team’s allocation. Were this not unsatisfying enough from a format that was introduced to enliven the sport, the race itself was once more a processional affair, much as it was when trialled at Silverstone.
Hamilton acknowledged that fans had been disappointed by the sprint races so far and expected the format to be changed for next year.
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“I agree with the fans there hasn’t been much overtaking in the two races we have had,” he said. “There will be things to learn from these sprint races and hopefully we can adapt for next year.
We have to try and do something different at these tracks where there is no overtaking. As a driver, to not have any overtaking it’s not fun and for fans not to see any action.”
Red Bull’s Sergio Pérez condemned it as “very boring”, saying: “I can imagine it’s also boring for fans, boring for drivers. It doesn’t bring anything to be honest.”