POLE POSITION: More sprint races in Formula One would thrill us… but the relentless grind may drive double world champion Max Verstappen AWAY from the sport at a young age

One thing to celebrate here by the Caspian Sea is that there’s just one hour of practice and nothing more at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Some of us were keen on the sprint races from the start, on the basis that they didn’t do away with qualifying but that they did away with practice. The fact is: qualifying is more fun than practice on a Friday afternoon; a sprint is more fun than qualifying on a Saturday afternoon. When sprints were first introduced a couple of years ago, there was plenty of moaning about it. Points will awarded for the top eight, as before, but the sprint has no role in determining the grand prix grid. For clarity: the format of practice-qualifying-grand prix remains in place as usual at non-sprint weekends, confusingly.

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