Start, Interlagos, 2021

Rate the race: 2021 Sao Paulo Grand Prix Sprint Qualifying

2021 Sao Paulo Grand Prix

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What did you think of today’s Sprint Qualifying event? Share your verdict on the Sao Paulo Grand Prix Sprint Qualifying race.

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Join in the latest poll and give your verdict on the race: 10 being the highest and 1 the lowest. Please vote based on how entertaining and exciting you thought the race was, not on how your preferred driver or team performed.

What were the best and worst moments of the race? What was the main thing you’ll remember about it? Rate the race out of ten and leave a comment below:

Rate the 2021 Sao Paulo Grand Prix sprint qualifying race out of 10

  • 1 (13%)
  • 2 (5%)
  • 3 (8%)
  • 4 (6%)
  • 5 (9%)
  • 6 (13%)
  • 7 (20%)
  • 8 (16%)
  • 9 (8%)
  • 10 (2%)

Total Voters: 142

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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56 comments on “Rate the race: 2021 Sao Paulo Grand Prix Sprint Qualifying”

  1. It wasn’t as bad as the others because Lewis was really out of position. But take him out, and not much changed during the 24 laps after the start, which is was a common theme in all 3 sprint races.

    I’m still convinced it’s something that needs to go. But hey, we’re getting more anyway.

    1. I agree, apart from Hamilton starting at the back we only got a pass from Max back on Sainz, then from Norris on Leclerc and from Stroll on Tsunoda in the last few laps.

      It was quite good to watch with Hamilton getting through the field and seemingly a chance of a battle for the podium and for the top spot, but ultimately that was a bit of a freak result of the DSQ which won’t be repeated @fer-no65 (I sure hope nobody starts throwing in a “random front runner having to start at the back” to spice it up)

      1. Made me think, what would Bernie say – How about the reverse of a drop worst result?
        Something like wildcard penalty – Over the season Top 6 have to start at least 1 of the 6 sprint races from the back of the field. If no-one opts to then the highest that hasn’t already takes the drop, if more than 1 opts in, the lower gets the choice. Of course the top 6 changes during the season – so what.

    2. The key again is that the format is not responsible for the spectacle.

  2. Gave this a 2 because Hamilton was the one who made this entertaining. Without him, this would have been a procession. Don’t use Hamilton’s drive to promote sprints. Only positive of sprints is that they have free choice of tyre compound.

    1. Agree.
      He made it interesting.

  3. Good lord how useless was Perez in the Sprint.
    Verstappen needs to clear Bottas as quickly as possible tomorrow.
    Lewis was incredible though, fighting drive, he will make the podium tomorrow make no mistake.

    1. I rather think it shows the Red Bull just did not have the top speed her from how the car is setup and possibly from running in traffic @pmccarthy_is_a_legend – Max also never really got closer than 4 tenths when chasing Bottas on ailing tyres. Apart from Lewis and Norris nobody really was able to make a pass on the cars ahead.

      1. @bascb fair point about running in traffic, that was definitely a factor, but Verstappen was up against a Mercedes which has been the class of the field this weekend on top speed, whereas Perez was up against a Ferrari. Once Verstappen cleared Sainz he was able to lap significantly faster than the Ferrari. I was left with the feeling that the lap delta between RB and Ferrari was more than enough to allow Perez to make a move.

  4. Take a bow Sir Hamilton. Incredible race. Only a second behind Perez! 71 laps tomorrow on that pace he can still get a podium or possibly win it if the strategy works for him and they sacrifice Bottas. Incredible drive.

    1. It’s not over. If I need to wait, 2022 will do. He’s still got the moves.

  5. I found it boring. Yes, Lewis in by far the fastest car on the grid gave some entertainment with overtakes, but other than that it still didn’t really deliver on anything but a procession that diminishes the value of qualifying.

    3/10, please get rid of this format.

    1. Entertainment? Overtakes? He just cruised by everyone in the main straight.

    2. Also a 3 from me. It would have been a 1 if Hamilton started on pole.

  6. What a bunch of nonracers. No one minimally defended. Can’t be a 0, so 1

  7. Straightforward apart from Hamilton’s comeback. Silverstone’s equivalent session was the best.

  8. I like Sprint, F1 fans like to complain. It was really entertaining, and it throws an interesting spin on the weekend.
    You get more racing track time instead of a dull practice session.
    I would rather watch a processional 24 lap sprint than a 1 hour practice session.
    Keep it coming F1 don’t listen to the haters.

  9. The best sprint race we’ve seen, but that isn’t saying much. As others have pointed out above, apart from Hamilton’s (entirely predictable) charge through the field there was no real action of note. Even the suggestion of a battle for the lead at half distance or so proved illusory. A disappointing format all round.

  10. And I will say that the DRS train is a mindset. The lead car in the DRS train doesn’t have DRS.

    1. @jimfromus stop quoting confucious, hopefully trains don’t have other trains ahead.

  11. Despite my misgivings about the format, I’ll be honest and give this race a 7/10. Some good action in the first two laps, a nice mix of starting tyres which provided different levels of performance off the line and a bit of jeopardy later on, and ofc Hamilton fighting through the field. Though it has to be said, if not for Lewis’ grid penalty then after the start this would have been another procession, as the format lends itself to. Can’t rely on grid penalties to create excitement so the format still has to change imo.

  12. It was more action packed than the other 2 primarily because of Hamilton having to start from the back.

    However having seen all 3 of the sprint ‘trials’ I have to say that I just don’t like this sprint format at all. It isn’t so much about how action packed (Or not) the sprint race itself may be, I just don’t like the knock on effect the sprint race & overall format has on the rest of the weekend & how it alters the feeling of the other sessions & overall flow of the weekend.

    And as i’ve seen others say I also dislike how a sprint weekend with extra points on offer makes some race weekends more valuable than the rest. I honestly really dislike that element of it & that will always be by far my biggest hate of the format.

    1. Agree, Basically echo’s my own feelings on it.

      I watched all of them this year because I wanted to be open minded to them. Well i’ve seen all 3 weekends now & as @gt-racer says I just don’t like how it changes the dynamic of the weekend & each session. And yeah some weekends awarding more points than others is also a big issue for me.

      Given my feelings I think for sprint weekends going forward i’ll skip the Friday/Saturday action & just tune in before the start of the main race on Sunday. For normal weekends however I will continue to watch every session.

  13. A 4 due Sainz mixing it up at the front. But not as existing as a qualifying. After a few laps it’s just a normal race without pit stop strategy.

  14. Zero!

    Like these other gimmick races – completely unnecessary.

  15. Very entertaining – but it proves that sprint races need reverse or random grids.

    1. Reverse or sticking a pit stop in for a different type of tyre like in races. It will give the chance of a bit more drama.

      1. Mandating a pitstop just means everyone starts on a slightly used soft and pits at the end of the first lap.

        1. That won’t work at some teams were a undercut does not work so probably more about the track than the pit stop

          1. Meant tracks not teams

      2. Actually the bit I like about Sprint racing is that you have to overtake on track.
        Strategy is great, but that is part of the GP proper.

        1. I get that. think the reverse grid for sprint races is probable the best idea as it would creat overtakes but will probably cause boring dull and slow qualifying.
          What makes one better makes the other worse

          1. Unless qualifying sets the grid for the main race and also the reverse grid for the sprint race.
            Nobody will squander a GP grid position just to have a better sprint starting position.

    2. True. I hoped Ross Brawn see this comment.

  16. Lewis DRS-ing everyone aside not much really happened outside of the 1st 2-3 laps & even Hamilton’s fight through the field was mainly easier DRS passes so i’d say 3-4/10 probably.

    In terms of this sprint race format…. Not a fan of it. It just feels like it makes the two practice sessions less interesting than normal, Makes the qualifying session itself feel less important as well as putting it on a day/time when I can’t watch it live anymore & having to then watch it delayed makes it feel that bit less exciting, The sprint race itself doesn’t really add anything & then the GP itself on Sunday feels devalued a bit because we have seen a 24 lap race the day before.

    So yeah just can’t say i’m a fan of this format..

  17. What a borefest 👎

  18. Entertaining enough, thanks to Hamilton fighting through the field and a little bit of action elsewhere.

    But, as it was a sprint race, I gave it a 1.

  19. 6, probably best sprint race so far but still not great, only Hamilton starting last made it worth watching really.

  20. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
    13th November 2021, 20:52

    1 for a nothing event again. A faster car wherever everyone let’s it by because there’s no point in defending. And A non scrap everywhere else. Just get rid of this stupid format.

  21. 10. Out of spite (it really was a 7) since people who vote 10 on mediocre races gave this banger a 1 just because they’re afraid of change.

  22. Zero defense, zero points

  23. Didn’t watch it but it sounds like it went as expected. The Mercedes are too fast in a straight line for Red Bull to race them and passing isn’t difficult in Brazil. If you have the sort of pace advantage the Red Bull and Mercedes have over the rest, you’re not going to struggle to recover your position on this track.

    Tomorrow will be decided by whether Verstappen can pass Bottas at the start or not. If he can’t, he’ll be stuck behind and Lewis can use strategy to win it. Either by getting track position and knowing it’ll be very difficult to pass him or by having newer tyres at the end to catch Max and easily getting past on the straight.

    1. Yep, the difficulty perez had behind sainz compared to how Lewis breezed past Leclerc doesn’t bode well for red bull in the race. Bottas could comfortably win this race for Lewis simply by driving to a delta knowing Max can’t pass…

  24. Make them race Formula 2 cars in a separate championship or something else on friday. This sprint qualifying format doesn’t work at all. I’m sure it’s possible to come up with something much better.
    4/10 race.

    1. I agree. Or chuck the F2 drivers in for an F1 sprint on the Friday and leave the f1 championship alone.

  25. Pretty pointless these races..

  26. The only legit move was Sainz’ start and stint. The rest, a load of bullcrap.

    What a waste this format.

  27. It was like a normal São Paulo race except this got a forced red flag 24 laps in. Tomorrow’s might be a lot better or a lot worse, regardless it is the one that counts.

  28. A 9 from me. Against mostly everyone here lol. What a comeback for Hamilton. I don’t care if he clearly has the faster car, equally clearly this racetrack is just that, a proper track that creates opportunities and Lewis was no stranger to making the most of it. And we all know certain other tracks would have seen him finish maybe only P15, that’s the joy of this track is that it engenders proper overtaking. He was sublime here, I don’t really see how he or anyone else would have made such a charge through the field. Great entertainment.

    This is what I want racing to be. I had great fun watching this. Anyone refusing to accept that worries me as to what you even want to be watching here.

  29. I just find these sprints so frustrating. It’s just the opening of a grand prix but without pit strategy. Everything stagnates at that stage of the race. I suppose the differing start tyres made this one a little more interesting but I’d still rather a standard qualifying session any day. Save the racing for the grand prix.

  30. I enjoyed watching it enough, but still don’t understand what the need for it is as someone who watches race weekends on TV. I get why promoters want it to get asses in seats over the course of a weekend, but I’m one of those weirdos that actually watches practice sessions, and I’d rather qualifying retain it’s function of determining the grid for the *real* race. If they must have an extra race, I’d rather see a sprint with a randomly assigned start order, with points given, but otherwise completely independent of qualifying and the Grand Prix.

  31. Boring as Hell…

  32. This comments section is a great example of why F1 needs to stop listening to the teams and the boring F1 tragics.

    Most of the comments here acknowledge that the best thing about this sprint was that one of the big name drivers was at the back and had to race hard to achieve a better finishing position. They earned their result through skilful driving and racing technique, not predominantly through being in the fastest car on the day.
    It proves yet again that the most obvious and logical way to run a sprint race is with a reverse grid.

    Anyone who doesn’t like that concept can simply enjoy their day doing something else, and tune in on Sunday for the typical boring endurance event that they know and love.
    I expect most would still watch the sprints to at least see how the grid is formed, if not actually for the important part – the racing that happens on the track. The same racing that almost never happens during the GP’s because the cars are usually in performance order before it even starts….

    1. BTW, I rate it a 3 for the same reason that others have – because of Hamilton’s starting position and drive back to the front.
      Would like to have seen Verstappen start back there too.

    2. Agree, reverse grids next!

  33. 1 (13%)
    2 (5%)
    3 (9%)
    4 (7%)
    5 (9%)
    6 (13%)
    7 (17%)
    8 (17%)
    9 (8%)
    10 (2%)
    Total Voters: 138

    8 for me, finally a good sprint race.

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