Hamilton: Sprint Qualifying action ‘won’t be too exciting’
July 12, 2021
Lewis Hamilton believes next week’s historical first Sprint Qualifying event at Silverstone will likely result in a “train” of cars and few overtakes.
In a bid to boost the attention of fans and viewers, Formula 1 will premiere its innovative new weekend format that will feature a qualifying session on Friday afternoon and a 100-kilometer mad dash on Saturday that will determine the grid for Sunday’s British Grand Prix.
The sport’s chiefs hope the short Sprint Qualifying race will produce some frantic battles up and down the field, but Hamilton believes the event will amount to little more than a procession due to Silverstone’s layout.
“It’ll just be a train probably,” Hamilton said last weekend in Austria. “Hopefully there will be some overtaking but most likely it won’t be too exciting.
“We’ll just have to wait and see. There’s no point judging it before we even get into it.”
Hamilton’s Ferrari colleague Carlos Sainz wasn’t as negative over the prospects of the Saturday fray, but acknowledged that overtaking could be challenging.
“Seventeen laps on a set of tyres should allow us to push a bit more and have a bit of fun, but you guys know that the more we push it’s trickier to overtake,” Sainz said.
“That’s not a secret so we’ll see how that pans out.”
Read also: Teams get clarity over Sprint Qualifying parc fermé rules
Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi, who usually starts his race in the thick of the midfield predicted some good scraps with his rivals.
“It’s only 100 kilometres so not many laps,” said the Italian, quoted by RaceFans.
“I don’t think it will be a problem, to be honest. But we will see, I will tell you on Saturday night in Silverstone.”
F1 chief Ross Brawn admitted to being “nervous” ahead of next week’s big premiere, but the Briton is confident that the event will produce the desired positive effect.
“I am nervous, it’s the unknown,” Brawn told Channel 4. “But I think we put a huge amount of work into it, the teams themselves have put a huge amount of work into it, so I think it’s got the greatest opportunity of success.
“We need to engage the fans and we need to ensure we have a race that they really get excited about. I think they will, but we don’t know until we get there.”
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