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George Russell

Is this the key problem F1 drivers could face on Sprint Qualifying weekends?

Sprint Qualifying will take place for the first time at the 2021 British Grand Prix, and as a result the traditional F1 weekend schedule changes. George Russell has flagged up his main concern about this.

Article
To news overview © Williams

George Russell has explained his key concern about how the changes to the F1 weekend schedule due to Sprint Qualifying could have a negative impact on the drivers and teams.

Sprint Qualifying will be trialled for the first time at the British Grand Prix, meaning that the timetable for the weekend will look very different. Instead of the usual two practice sessions on a Friday, only one will take place before traditional qualifying is held later in the day. This will determine the starting grid for Saturday's 30-minute sprint, which will take place after another practice session. The finishing order of Sprint Qualifying will decide the grid for Sunday's main event.

With the loss of practice time on Friday, Russell admits that this could be challenging if a car suffers a mechanical issue.

"The difficulty is if you have a problem," Russell told the F1 Nation podcast.

"It has happened a number of times before where a car has broken down or failed at the start of the session. That's going to really, really mess you up.

"So that's the only concern, I think, of only having the one session before, what is one of the most important sessions of the weekend."

Whilst Russell can acknowledge that having less time in practice to put laps in could pose a disadvantage, he remains confident that Williams will provide him with a car that can handle this.

"The more laps you do, there's no doubt you gain more experience and you're in a better shape," the British driver said. "But I think from my side, I feel confident enough that the one session is sufficient.

"I feel confident the team will give me a car that's there or thereabouts."

Russell also believes that Sprint Qualifying could offer an opportunity for teams like Williams to benefit, given that those towards the back of the grid may have less to risk than the front runners.

"In a position like us, when you're at the back of the grid, you've got to go for it. So this is an opportunity, because there are going to be people having a different approach."

In our latest video, RacingNews365.com breaks down how much it costs drivers to make their way up the ranks in the world of motorsport and become and F1 driver.

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