Sebastian Vettel reckons as a ‘hardcore F1 fan’ he would have watched Sprint Qualifying as well, as the only problem he has is with pole-sitter tag to its winner.

Aston Martin’s Vettel shared his thoughts out on the new sprint qualifying format, where it seemed that the German was on edge about the format. As a veteran of the sport, his opinion on anything to do with F1 is important, which helps to improve the situation.

When asked about whether or not he would have watched sprint qualifying as a child, he said he would, but because as a kid he was a hardcore fan of the sport and watched everything to do with F1. He added that the main event has to be on Sunday, otherwise it wouldn’t matter to hang around until the final day.

“I didn’t have to worry because there was only a race, one race, I don’t know,” said Vettel.
“I was a hardcore fan so I think I would have watched everything. I watched free practice as well, so I would have watched sprint qualifying as well. I don’t know, time will tell. It will be interesting to see how people will like it or not.

“I think the main event always has to be Sunday, otherwise there’s no point hanging around here Sunday, we can just go home or finish the weekend Saturday night, but we’ll see how it goes. I think it’s the first time so let’s give it a go,” he summed up.

Vettel seemed to have hope for this format, but stated that he would have to wait for the first weekend to finish in order to properly judge it. On team’s preparations, he noted that they did not prep any different due to this format being new, but also said that there were a couple differences here and there.

“I’m fairly open because it’s what it is,” said Vettel. “It won’t change no matter what we say, and then we see, maybe it’s really good so I think generally it’s fine to be open about it. In terms of prep, not that much difference, obviously just running through the schedules of the weekend is different.

“And then selecting your tyres and this kind of stuff is a little bit different, you’re not able to change the car as soon as the Friday evening qualifying session starts, so there is a couple of differences but not that much. The factory is just across the road so the sim is also just across the road so we use the time in the week to get into the groove, but not too different to be honest,” summed up Vettel.

The one thing that Vettel was not onboard, however, was the fact that the sprint race winner would get pole position for the real race. The German did not agree with this rule and that it was “confusing” for him. This was most likely due to the fact that the real qualifying session would not mean anything for the real race, and that everything would come down to the result of the sprint race.

“I think that’s wrong,” said Vettel. “Pole is the fastest lap time achieved, or the fastest lap-time in qualifying. It gets all a bit confusing. But, obviously it depends. If this is a one-off, then it doesn’t do much harm. But, if we end up having 10 sprint races next year or in the future, then I think it’s just a bit weird.

“So, pole position should go to the guy who goes fastest in one lap. Certainly, they could [just] make up ‘sprint pole’ or something. It’s a new discipline, so they didn’t have it 50 years ago, and now we have it. Then we just add a new column to the statistics,” summed up Vettel.

Overall, Vettel seemed to be cautiously optimistic about the situation, conveying a slight hope that this format would be limited and not all-through the year. That, however, is for the FIA to decide. Up until then, it seems that the German needs some time in order to form a better opinion on sprint qualifying.

The article was written by Neeladri Nag

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