Hamilton predicts Silverstone F1 sprint race will be "a train"

Lewis Hamilton says he has “not particularly” high hopes for Formula 1’s first sprint race at Silverstone next weekend, predicting it will be “a train”.

F1 will debut its new weekend format at the British Grand Prix, holding a 100km sprint race on Saturday in place of regular qualifying.

Qualifying will still take place using its traditional format on Friday, setting the grid for the sprint race, the results of which will then define the starting order for the grand prix on Sunday.

The World Motor Sport Council rubber-stamped the new rules for the sprint races on Thursday, with the format also set to be used at two other events this year. But seven-time world champion Hamilton has doubts the new concept will deliver an exciting on-track product.

Asked if he had high hopes for the first sprint race, Hamilton replied: “Not particularly.

"It’s going to be a train, probably. Hopefully there’ll be some overtaking, but it most likely won’t be too exciting.”

Read Also:

The sprint race at Silverstone will last for 17 laps - one-third of the usual grand prix distance - and is scheduled to get underway at 4:30pm on Saturday.

The late running of the session serves as part of a wider shake-up of the weekend timings that will see qualifying begin at 6pm on Friday evening.

A further change in the rules for the sprint weekend will see the FIA officially declare the winner of the sprint race as the driver to take pole position - not the fastest man in qualifying.

Hamilton holds the record for the most pole positions in F1, having scored his 100th earlier this year at the Spanish Grand Prix, but he did not think much of the rule change.

“I don’t really have an opinion about it,” Hamilton said. “We’ll wait and see. There’s no point judging it before we even get into it. It doesn’t matter.”

Read Also:

F1 has already said that it will use the sprint events this year as a trial for the format that could be expanded in the future should it prove to be a success.

AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly said he was going into the weekend “open-minded”, believing it would be tricky to make any firm judgements after a single trial.

"I think it’s fair to wait all three weekends, and if there are any positives from it and people like it, then why not keep it in the future?” Gasly said. “But I think we have to review after all three weekends. What does it bring? Does it really make it more exciting? Because I think that’s the whole point of it.

“If it does, then why not? But if it doesn’t, then it’s important to keep the format that we have, which I think is good.

“I enjoy the qualifying on Saturday and having only one single race during the weekend.”

shares
comments

Related video

Red Bull junior Lawson to receive first F1 taste at Goodwood

Previous article

Red Bull junior Lawson to receive first F1 taste at Goodwood

Next article

Why F1’s latest technical wrangling is nothing new

Why F1’s latest technical wrangling is nothing new
Load comments
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Prime

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences.

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Prime

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Prime

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Prime

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1's elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he's recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Italian Grand Prix driver ratings

Two drivers produced faultless performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left many to rue what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo would have won without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Prime

Why Ricciardo would have won without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates Prime

Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates

For the second time in 2021, McLaren will line up for the start of a grand prix from the first row. It knows it has the chance of "glory" if things go well for Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the start of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but even if they just maintain their grid positions, signs from the rest of the Monza weekend suggest success is very possible for Formula 1's other orange army

Formula 1
Sep 12, 2021
How Formula 1 has made itself unattractive to new teams Prime

How Formula 1 has made itself unattractive to new teams

OPINION: The Formula 1 cost cap has been billed as a saviour to several teams and helped to guarantee their viability for investors. But there already exists another mechanism that effectively had the same purpose, and serves as a strong deterrent for those with the means to go it alone in setting up a new team

Formula 1
Sep 10, 2021