Red Bull team boss Christian Horner is a strong proponent of entering sprint races in Formula 1. The Brit responds to rumors that the royal class of motorsport is planning to experiment with such races as qualifying this year.
"I don't think there will ever be a better time to enter sprint races than now in Austria, at Silverstone and possibly another location later this year," Horner told Autosport.com on Monday .
"It is an ideal opportunity to try something different," he says. "And as long as the plan is introduced from the first race of the season and does not change during the season, we certainly have no problem with that."
In the sprint race, the drivers start based on the upside-down World Cup position, which means that whoever is last starts at the front. It should provide more excitement and spectacle. The outcome determines the grid for the race on Sunday.
The intention would be to run the experiment on circuits that are double on the Formula 1 calendar this year, as is likely to happen with the Grands Prix of Austria and Great Britain. In one of the two weekends on a circuit, the format is tested, while in the other weekend a normal qualification takes place.
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'Hope that Mercedes also supports the plan'
In order for the sprint race to enter this year, a unanimous agreement of the ten Formula 1 teams is needed. However, Mercedes would have already indicated that it does not feel much for the plan. Horner understands that position, but hopes that the German racing stable will change its mind.
"We have won the Austrian GP in the past two years," he refers to Max Verstappen's victories over the Red Bull Ring. "So we potentially have as much to lose as they do, especially at that location. I think it will be positive for Formula 1 overall."
Horner does believe that the sprint race should take place in only one of the two weekends. "If you use a different format for the second weekend, I think it appeals even more. I hope Mercedes will support that plan in the end."