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Max Verstappen

Verstappen delivers verdict on sprint weekend rule change

The sprint format will undergo more changes this year and reigning World Champion Max Verstappen has weighed in on the altered format.

Verstappen Bahrain winter
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Max Verstappen believes that Formula 1's latest raft of sprint weekend changes make for a “better format”.

But the Dutchman has insisted that he is still not a fan of the alternative schedule, which returns at six events this term.

Verstappen has long voiced his disapproval of the format, which reduces practice and adds an extra 'race' to the weekend.

The format has seen tweaks every year since its introduction in 2021 and further changes have been pushed through for the upcoming season.

Friday's running will consist of free practice and the shootout to set the grid for the sprint race. The sprint will then take place on Saturday, followed by qualifying for the Grand Prix.

Additionally, parc fermé conditions will be lifted after the sprint race to allow teams to make changes for qualifying and the Grand Prix.

Speaking to media including RacingNews365, Verstappen said: "It's a better format, I would say, in terms of how you approach the weekend, but I don't get more excited about the race.

"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 and how it is in the race weekend."

Gasly's agreement

Verstappen's comments were mirrored by former teammate Pierre Gasly who believes the changes will positively impact the engineers.

"I agree the format is better," Gasly said. "Just from, I will say, mainly the fact that we've got a bunch of very smart engineers here.

“Last year, after FP1 you were not able to change anything on the car. So all the smart people actually can't have an input on the car performance over the whole weekend.

“So I think it's a lot better for them. They'll be a lot more busy analysing and trying to always develop the car."

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