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Verstappen: New F1 sprint more logical but not more exciting

Max Verstappen says Formula 1's revised sprint schedule "has more logic to it" but insists he is still not "excited" about the format.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing

Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Despite his success in sprints in recent seasons, Verstappen has made it clear he is not a fan of having an extra event tacked on to the weekend.

This year's timetable has been changed, with the shootout on Friday followed by the sprint and main qualifying on Saturday.

The key change is that while previously teams were locked into an unchanged car specification from FP1 onwards, there are now two parc ferme periods, with a window between the sprint and qualifying during which they can make adjustments.

However, Verstappen suggests the change won't improve the actual racing.

"It's a better format, I would say, in terms of how you approach the weekend," he said. "But I don't get more excited about the race itself.

"But at least I think it's better that you're still able to change the car for the weekend. And a bit more of a logic to it in terms of how you have the sessions now in the race weekends."

Ferrari's Carlos Sainz agrees that the flexibility that the revised parc ferme regulations have brought in is a positive, although he would have liked to have seen more changes.

Carlos Sainz, Scuderia Ferrari

Carlos Sainz, Scuderia Ferrari

Photo by: Motorsport Images

"Regarding parc ferme rules, I'm a big fan of this change," said the Spaniard. "I suffered last year in Baku and in a couple of races a tough sprint weekend where the car went into parc ferme straight away after FP1, and I couldn't change something in the car.

"That meant that I was on the back foot for the rest of the weekend, with still five sessions to do in the weekend, which for me made zero sense.

"I think a driver and a team should always be allowed to try and change things in the car if the car is not performing as it should or as expected. So I'm a big fan of that change.

"Regarding the [overall] sprint format, I would have rather changed a little bit more than what it was changed. But anyway I think the changes are in the right direction. They're small but in the right direction. Potentially, if you ask me personally, I would have changed a bit more."

RB technical director Jody Egginton has welcomed the freedom to change the cars, but cautioned that it puts extra stress on teams.

More factory simulation input will be required over the weekend to optimise the cars, while there will be additional workload at the track for engineers and mechanics.

Yuki Tsunoda, Visa Cash App RB F1 Team

Yuki Tsunoda, Visa Cash App RB F1 Team

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

"When I fit my race engineering head, it's always nice to be able to play with the car for as long as possible and do what you can," said Egginton. "When I think about weekends where we weren't where we wanted to be early enough, I like the idea.

"But on the flip side, we've got to be sensible of working hours and how we operate. So it's pros and cons, but I'm quite happy with the change that's been made. I think it's a fair compromise.

"I'm old enough to hark back to the days when we used to be able to do everything we wanted for as long as we wanted. But the world's changed from that. So I wouldn't say that that's the ultimate goal now, but this is a sensible change."

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