F1 drivers share their views on how an ideal weekend could look like especially with now sprints getting more rounds and calendar increasing.
After Stefano Domenicali’s views during a MotoGP weekend, the discussions around how an ideal F1 weekend will or should look like is back on. As it is, the sport is amid a trial of multiple ones in the upcoming weeks but the topic is a never ending one.
With the increasing amount of races, F1 tried pushing media day on Friday last year from Thursday but it didn’t work. The sprint weekends are set with qualifying on Friday as the whole weekend sees one less practice session, but it see further change.
As of now, they are mulling for Friday to have FP1 and qualifying for Sunday’s race, while Saturday to contain one-lap shootout for the sprint race. The F1 teams have more or less agreed on the plan with the confirmation on first race whether Baku or Austria awaits.
Meanwhile with regards to the normal race weekends, it is still being looked at on how to make practice sessions more exciting for viewers in the stands and also TV, whether to curtail it even further or introduce points or things which could affect qualifying.
Here’s what some of the F1 drivers think how an ideal weekend could look like –
Nico Hulkenberg: “I don’t know. It’s not something I think about actively because the schedule is the way it is and we will come here and we have this rhythm. Since I’ve been in F1 it’s always been the three practice sessions; now it’s already cut shorter which kind of feels good. And I think it’s good the way the build-up of the weekend is: Friday’s a practice day and Saturday is more important, tension rises and then Sunday the highlight, the main day, so, no big desire, personally, to change anything.”
George Russell: “I probably say, for the benefit of the two or 3,000 people travelling around the world, having the first session on a Friday afternoon, evening so there’s less pressure for teams to arrive, let’s say, on a Wednesday. If you have your first session on Friday morning you need to be here on a Thursday which for a lot of the races requires flying on a Wednesday and if we can push that back to allow teams to fly on a Thursday morning… You add that up over 24 races in a year, you’re getting on for almost a month extra at home or sleeping in your own bed, which is huge for everybody in this circus. So yeah, I’d say Sprint format, but just making sure that first session is delayed a bit.”
Pierre Gasly: “I think George has got a great idea. I think I support that. We’re all quite keen, I think there were a lot of talks in trying to push the weekend a bit forward, having a session on the Friday and yeah, I think I think we all quite keen to do that, especially with more racing on the calendar and always more talks to add these races in the future. So definitely, yeah, keen on trying that and Friday for practice, more action on Saturday. I think the Sprint is definitely something to explore, as well, but just keeping the main Grand Prix on Sunday, and not changing the DNA of the sport.”
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