After having listened to various figures inside the paddock, Autosport and Motorsport.com caught the impressions of the ultimate actors: drivers. The GPDA have recently being reunited for a meeting and among all the themes, two were more on the spectators or personnel rather than on the pure driving point of view.
Starting from the Sochi post-race reflections, Romain Grosjean claimed that a solution to the midfield battles TV coverage is urging: having retired his Haas in the early laps, he followed the remaining ones in the garage. “The midfield at one point was quite cool, and you could see very, very small margins between cars when [Alex] Albon was behind Kevin [Magnussen], he was coming back after the last safety car. And we were only seeing Charles [Leclerc] chasing [Valtteri] Bottas, which was also exciting, but sometimes you wish when you see less than two tenths between cars at the back you want to see that battle” – told to Motosport.com the Swiss.
He later got even a possible remedy to such circumstances: “The fight we had at the end of the last lap in Singapore was I guess much more exciting than cars passing the line. So maybe having a double screen, where you can see still see the leading car crossing the line, and then the fight going on track on the other screen, would be quite cool”. Carlos Sainz too, spread the voice about the question: “I am frustrated about it but mainly also my team should be frustrated about it. For sponsorship deals, if you are not on the live TV feed it’s not a good thing. Obviously the GPDA are dealing with bigger matters at the moment as you can imagine, about 2021, things like that, but it is something that has been raised”.
On the other hand, the Japanese round proved that a shorter weekend format is possible without affecting performances and show: as the next season calendar has already raised many eyebrows among drivers for their mechanics social life and rest-workload balance, now drivers seemed to have found a solution in the weekend reduction to two or three days. "Some sort of these cosmetic experiments with the timetable in F1 I think, why not?" – said Daniil Kvyat to Motorsport.com - "It is not a bad thing at all. The guys who work so many days. Maybe this one extra day could make them be more alive, so why not? These things can make sense to play around with". Even Nico Hulkenberg praised for change after his 10 years of career: “[…] from inside as a driver […] now after 10 years and having that very same rhythm I would appreciate a change of format very much. […] I think from inside F1 I think it will be appreciated by a lot of people”.
However, some concerns mounted about the stress weight suffered from the teams; McLaren’s Carlos Sainz, Lando Norris and Team Principal Andreas Seidl both agreed that such a solution won’t be a good way to follow: "I saw some stressed faces on the engineers in the garage so it means everything's a bit more hectic” – claimed the Spaniard driver; "I think the biggest issue is the time limit you have if you have a big problem and need to change components" stated Seidl, while Norris suggested a change “planned properly or in a better way, more structured”.