Toto Wolff has revealed he is no fan of the new trends in Formula 1’s race weekend format.
The Mercedes boss says his problem is that with some weekends featuring a traditional format, others the new ‘sprint’ races and even several events with Saturday grand prix from 2024, it is getting too confusing for the fans.
“All I can say is that I’ve always been a fan of traditional formats,” Wolff told Tiroler Tageszeitung newspaper.
“It meant that when we’re in Asia, the fans know they have to get up early. And when you’re in America, it’s prime time.”
He used MotoGP as an example, insisting that top series moving away from traditional weekend formats means he now struggles to follow F1’s two-wheeled equivalent as a fan.
“I don’t understand who is riding when. What practice session is it? Is it qualifying now? Has he won a race this weekend or not,” said Wolff.
“You read on Saturday that one rider is sad about his result, then on Sunday you read that he won. You’re asking yourself ‘how does this all fit together’.”
However, MotoGP boss Carlos Ezpeleta hit out at Wolff’s comments about his series, insisting that the new sprint race format is in fact uniform across the entire 2023 season.
“Everyone has their own opinion and it’s difficult to judge objectively, especially when you’re in this business yourself,” he told Speed Week when asked about Wolff’s comments about MotoGP.
“What I do agree about is that it is very important to keep the basic elements of the sport as simple and easy to understand as possible. That was one of the reasons why we chose for our new format to be integrated into all the events in 2023.
“But no one can say that Formula 1 is easier to understand than our concept,” Ezpeleta insists.
“In F1, you qualify for Sunday on a Friday, you qualify for Saturday on a Saturday, you get a point for the fastest lap and so on.
“A lot of people say the sport doesn’t matter so much – people are attracted to the show and the package. But I don’t know how long they can continue to make gains in a sport where one driver can win races by a full minute,” he added.