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F1 Q&A before Imola: Norris, Verstappen, McLaren, Red Bull, Sainz, Ricciardo

First, let’s just deal with the general perception of the sprint weekends in F1.

The drivers are actually split on them. Max Verstappen has made no secret of his disdain for the sprint format. But Lewis Hamilton is very much for it – he said in Miami that he “loved it” and “we need more in my opinion”.

Most of the others are in the middle – they quite enjoy the sprint but would not want it every weekend.

The teams, meanwhile, are mostly in the final category. They are happy to have some sprints – remember, they voted for them to happen. But many of them, too, don’t want them to become the norm.

People recognise that there is more competitive track action over a sprint weekend, and that has benefits for the audience.

But the sprint has a flip side. There are large gaps between sessions – “a lot of hanging around’, as Hamilton has put it – and there are still questions as to whether the sprint race has much meaning.

And by and large, people like the flow of a traditional grand prix weekend, the feeling that there is a building momentum to the main race.

Ideally, many would prefer two-day weekends, with one practice session before a qualifying and then the grand prix. But the circuits don’t want that – they need the extra day to generate revenue.

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