Toto Wolff puts faith in F1 chief Stefano Domenicali over qualifying changes

MERCEDES chief Toto Wolff admitted the sprint race at the Austrian Grand Prix had “less entertainment”.

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F1 are planning to increase the number of sprint qualifying races to six next season and Mercedes chief Toto Wolff is confident that F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali will choose the right locations to stage the extra races.

The most recent sprint race took place at the Austrian Grand Prix, but was not as exciting as previous events as the top four drivers retained their positions. And Wolff admitted the sprint had “less entertainment” and believes F1 need to ensure they choose the best venues for future events.

“I think if I have trust in one person to choose the right sprint races, it’s Stefano,” Wolff said. “And Stefano will have seen [the Austria sprint race] and will take it into consideration.

“I think the reason why races have less entertainment is because there’s just too much performance gap between the teams. If you have Verstappen disappearing in a distance, the two Ferraris being the only entertainment during the race and then we [Mercedes] are in the middle of nowhere in no man’s land.

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Toto Wolff puts faith in F1 chief Stefano Domenicali over qualifying changes

Mercedes chief Toto Wolff (Image: GETTY)

“Then the others are further behind, and then you have DRS trains. That never can make a good sprint race.”

Meanwhile, Haas driver Kevin Magnussen has called for a change to the rules for sprint races. Speaking before the Austrian Grand Prix, Magnussen stated that he believes the current format encourages cautious driving.

“Imola was my first Sprint and we had a good weekend, we scored points in both the Sprint and the main race, so it’s always nice to have a good first experience so hopefully we can do the same in Austria,” he said. “I watched them last year and the big question is whether or not you want to take a risk in the sprint.

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Toto Wolff puts faith in F1 chief Stefano Domenicali over qualifying changes

Formula One World Champions (Image: EXPRESS)

“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. Maybe that could be a solution to make people go for it a bit more in the sprint.”

Verstappen ultimately won the Austrian Grand Prix, increasing his lead in the driver standings to 208 points. The Dutchman is currently 38 points ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in second.

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