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What do the Drivers Think of the New F1 Sprint Weekend Format?

Each driver had something interesting to say about the new sprint weekend format with most admitting it will be "tough." ...

Creating entertainment for viewers is not always conducive to creating happy drivers and the new sprint weekend format is likely to be a strain on them. Interestingly enough, most of the drivers are interested to see how things go and are keeping an open mind.

Some drivers, like Max Verstappen, don’t think it will be “different than what it was in the previous sprint weekend” and questions whether or not in the long-term this is healthy for the drivers. Similarly, Carlos Sainz, despite welcoming the challenge, agrees that it will be “tougher both mentally and physically” but is happy to do it if “it makes the product better.”

Sainz’ teammate, Charles Leclerc believes “It’s going to be a very, very difficult weekend – if not the most difficult of the year” but adds that he’s “looking forward to it.” Lewis Hamilton echoed this saying he thinks “it is going to be tough for everybody, but we’re all in the same boat.”

Interestingly, Hamilton believes that Baku will be a great track to try out this format, “… what a track to be at to do it, where overtaking is possible. Great racing here. We always have mostly the best races here.” Sergio Perez disagrees and thinks that “Baku, generally, the racing is great just with the standard format” and believes that “we need to be more selective with the races.”

Both Valtteri Bottas and Nico Hulkenberg like that things will launch “straight into action” with Hulkenberg adding that “it reminds me of my junior days – and I used to like that.” Still, they admit that it’s going to be challenging with Bottas saying that they will “need to be switched on for the whole weekend.”

Alex Albon had a different perspective saying that this new format will provide opportunities for midfield teams, as on Friday “there’s maybe some teams that won’t get it perfect – and that’s good for us [Williams].”

Several drivers, like Zhou Guanyu, believe the new format is “more exciting than the old one” with Kevin Magnussen excited that “most of the sessions in the weekend will be counting for something” something he thinks is “cool.”

Rookie Logan Sargean, had similar praise for the new format as he likes that he has “two opportunities to have qualifying and two races” which is “huge for [him] to keep learning.”

Lando Norris prefers the revised structure but stresses that he doesn’t “want to have a sprint race every single weekend” but understands that sprint races are “good for the fans, good for the people watching.”

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