Lando Norris doesn’t really mind the changes to the weekend format. The Briton thinks it would be cool if the drivers go directly into qualifying after just one practice session during weekends with a sprint race. The McLaren driver thinks it will increase the pressure on the drivers and engineers if the action starts after an hour.
Opinions about the changes to the Formula 1 weekend schedule are divided. For example, drivers like Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez think that change is not necessary to make things more exciting. Norris, however, thinks otherwise. “I like it when things get serious after the first training session,” says Norris at Speedweek. “That increases the pressure on the drivers, and also on the engineers. The action starts after an hour.’
Normally, the drivers have three training sessions for a total of three hours to train ahead of qualifying and the race. However, this is different during a sprint weekend, as qualifying is held on the same day as the first free practice. In Azerbaijan in two weeks, the drivers will start working with two qualifying sessions for the first time. One qualifies for the Sprint and the second qualifies for the main race.
‘Classic’ weekend is preferred by Norris
While the adjustments could provide more excitement and more opportunities for the drivers, Norris still thinks the classic planning is best. “I’m still not a fan of the sprint races. I like the structure of a classic race weekend, that way the pressure builds towards Sunday with qualifying on Saturday. It would be cool to have qualifying right after the first free practice, but then the race weekend would only have two days, and I wouldn’t see how we could do that,” Norris concluded.