Kevin Magnussen leads calls for F1 sprint rule change ahead of Austrian Grand Prix

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KEVIN MAGNUSSEN would like to see changes made to the F1 sprint race, one of the sport’s most innovative concepts.

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F1 star Kevin Magnussen is keen for F1 to change their rules for the sprint race. After contesting the first of three such races in Imola, the second will take place this Saturday at the Red Bull Ring circuit in Austria.

The event is a shorter version of the main race with no mandatory pit stops. The results will form the grid for the main Grand Prix on Sunday. The concept has divided opinion, and Magnussen is the latest to offer his assessment of the idea.

The Haas driver has stated that he believes sprint races should be standalone events which do not set the grid for the main grand prix. After his first experience of the sprint race back in April, Magnussen believes it encourages cautious driving.

“I watched them last year and the big question is whether or not you want to take a risk in the sprint,” he began. “If you didn’t qualify for your position in the main race during the sprint and instead the qualifying on Friday was your starting position for both the sprint and the main race, then you would be able to go for it in the sprint without having to take risks for your starting position.

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Kevin Magnussen leads calls for F1 sprint rule change ahead of Austrian Grand Prix

F1 star Kevin Magnussen would like to see a change to the F1 sprint race (Image: GETTY)

“Maybe that could be a solution to make people go for it a bit more in the sprint.” The race will be 24 laps in Austria or the session will last a total of 60 minutes.

Pirelli will provide three options for tyres with all drivers free to use whatever compound they wish. In a switch from the 2021 format, the winner will walk away with eight points, the runner-up seven points and third place will earn six.

No points are available for the fastest lap in the sprint qualifying race. The second sprint race of the season will get underway at 15:30 on Saturday. The Imola sprint proved to be rather exciting in the closing stages as Max Verstappen passed Charles Leclerc to win and ensured he began the Grand Prix on pole.

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Kevin Magnussen leads calls for F1 sprint rule change ahead of Austrian Grand Prix

The German took part in his first sprint race at Imola back in April (Image: GETTY)

Leclerc led for the vast majority of the contest but was ultimately pipped by his Red Bull rival with only a few laps remaining to secure the best possible starting berth for the Grand Prix, which he went on to win.

The Dutchman will be keen to repeat his Imola performance in Austria this weekend, after labouring to a P7 finish at Silverstone this past Sunday.


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