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F1 | How drivers and team members have responded to official confirmation of sprint qualifying events

McLaren, Haas, Alfa Romeo and Williams gave their thoughts on sprint qualifying over the Portuguese Grand Prix weekend during virtual media sessions.

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F1 | How drivers and team members have responded to official confirmation of sprint qualifying events
Fuente imagen: Hasan Bratic - MotorLat

MotorLat.com editors were among selected media to attend virtual media events during the Portuguese Grand Prix.  

Unsurprisingly, the topic of ‘sprint qualifying’ races was one of the biggest talking points of the weekend after confirmation came through between the Imola and Portimao races. 

Lando Norris, Daniel Ricciardo, Andreas Seidl, Guenther Steiner, Xevi Pujolar and Dave Robson gave their thoughts on it.  

Lando Norris (McLaren) 

''I’m not too sure. I wouldn’t say I’m a big fan of it. I think if we’re going to practice it then we practice it as an actual race. 

''It’s (3-2-1 points for the top three) better than having full points for example. It’s not the end of the world, but I would prefer if they just did a practice race with nothing really to win points-wise and just leave the points for Sunday.''

Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) 

''I do feel there has to be some points, otherwise it feels like kind of a waste of a race.  

''(I’m) probably not against giving the top three some points, but obviously I haven’t put too much thought into it either.'' 

Andreas Seidl (McLaren) 

“We supported the idea. Of course all Formula 1 teams together with the FIA we all want to get involved so we are happy with that. 

“To be honest I think the format that we have in place at the moment in Formula 1 it’s already a big one, with the qualifying session how it is, and the race how it is on Sunday. 

“The thing is not to create too many new ideas now because we have a very good format. But I also think Sprint races are a very good thing to try, to see what they actually give us, in terms of excitement for the race weekend for the fans, or whether it is that we don’t like let’s not try something like the reverse grid, something completely artificial. 

“I still think that qualifying should always be about a flying lap, and the race should be about a standing start and then racing.” 

Guenther Steiner (Haas) 

''For sure it will be difficult [Mazepin and Schumacher having to do sprint qualifying with such little experience] but I think it’s one of the things we need to deal with and learn. 

''If you go back to the last two races, our guys have been the first time in an F1 race: There was an aborted start [Bahrain], there was the weather inconsistency in Imola.  

''It’s a lot of things which are happening and some things you cannot choose what to do. They are happening for the good of the sport and we go with that one. We believe in the sport; we’re not just trying to be self-serving. 

''We know this will be another challenge for them. Once they get over it... the second time will be better, the third time hopefully even better. If we do more of them (sprint qualifying events next year), they are prepared for it and they just need to apply it like all the other drivers. 

''Sometimes you are in a situation where you have to see the greater good (sprint qualifying going ahead) than your own little world.'' 

Xevi Pujolar (Alfa Romeo) 

''It’s another challenge. When you have this kind of a different race weekend, you need to do your preparation for the race weekend a bit different.  

''That will open also opportunities.... maybe to score points; we’ll have to see how everything gets defined. In terms of what we can extract, it will be different and we have to adapt. Whoever is able to do it earlier and better then can get more. 

''We have to change a bit the approach of what is like the normal racing to that type of race. It will be a bit different but that can open other opportunities.  

''As for an engineering challenge, I think for us it’s good. Even when we had the short race weekend last year at Imola, that was also good.''

Dave Robson (Williams) 

''I think it’s a perfectly good experiment, quite looking forwards to seeing what it does mean. I think I’m still a bit unsure as to what FP2 would look like in terms of what we’ll be prepared to do and which tyres we’d choose to use for that. That’s the biggest conundrum at the moment. 

''But I think the Friday format looks good, the second day, the sprint qualifying itself I think is fine, that looks quite interesting.''

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