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Formula 1

Verstappen hoping for rules change: Not being able to setup the car is wrong

Red Bull's Max Verstappen believes the Sprint Qualifying weekend rules that put the cars in parc ferme conditions on Friday need to be changed.

Verstappen Hamilton Silverstone
To news overview © Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

Red Bull's Max Verstappen believes the rules for this weekend, that have prevented teams from making changes to their cars since Friday practice, need to be changed.

With Sprint Qualifying introduced for the first time on a trial basis this weekend, the changed rules schedule saw the teams forced to set up their cars during Friday practice and then go into parc ferme conditions for Friday qualifying. While there was an extra practice session on Saturday, teams were unable to make any setup changes.

"I think we have to look a little bit at the schedule because, to do an FP2 session and you’re not allowed to change the car is a bit wrong, in my opinion," Verstappen told the media, including RacingNews365 after the Sprint Qualifying race.

"It’s a bit of luck sometimes now, if we keep this format going, for sprint races that you only have one free practice to nail the set-up."

Verstappen was dominant in opening practice, but failed to nail his setup for qualifying on Friday. This meant he missed out on top spot for the Sprint Qualifying race, and the Dutch driver believes that not being able to make setup changes makes the weekend something of a lottery.

"Of course sometimes it will work in your favour and sometimes it will work against you," he said.

"I think so far this week it hasn’t really been good to us – but of course we always have to look at ourselves to make sure we could do better – but if I could do it again, yeah, for sure, I would choose for a bit more top speed."

Both Verstappen and team boss Christian Horner are wary of Mercedes' straight-line speed at Silverstone, having committed early to running more downforce on their RB16B. Despite this, Verstappen had understeer during Friday qualifying but was pleasantly surprised that this had vanished for the Saturday race.

"Yeah, the understeer was gone but naturally you’re not going as fast
through the corners as in qualifying. So I guess that helps," he said.

"It seems like we are quick through corners, they [Mercedes] are quick on the straight this weekend and, of course, after one free practice session, and then you’re not allowed to make any changes and you don’t get it right, then you’re a bit stuck.

"So I think we’re a bit stuck on the straight, so that’s why we have to make up our time in the corners – but yeah, it seemed like in this more-or-less flat-out race – you cannot really call it flat-out but at least pushing more, the pace was alright but I still expect with a pit-stop coming into play – or two pit stops, who knows – it’s again going to be a good fight."

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