Ferrari boss suggests Max Verstappen is alone

Frederic Vasseur has insisted that all 10 F1 teams are on board with new sprint race weekend tweaks.

Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur believes all teams on the Formula 1 grid are ‘aligned’ in their agreement over the changes proposed to the sprint race weekend format.

Tweaks to the format will see practice sessions removed in favour of an extra qualifying session, with drivers now qualifying for the Grand Prix in Friday, and qualifying again on Saturday for a sprint race that will be held later in the day.

The first F1 sprint weekend is scheduled to take place at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, with officials keen on getting the changes signed off in time for when the teams arrive to race in Baku.

Vasseur has spoken on the proposed amendments and believes there will not be any issues in getting everyone to agree, despite Max Verstappen publicly expressing his opposition to the change.

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He told reporters, via “I think all the teams were aligned, it’s not very often that it has been the case, but I think that we have to jump on it.

“For sure the format is more dynamic, but at the end of the day, I think that we are all aligned that we have to push for it.”

A number of personnel have been quizzed on the proposed changes, with Lewis Hamilton suggesting that the innovations are key for the sport, despite Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff holding a slightly more conservative opinion on the matter.

While not against the new format, he said: “I’m more on the conservative side. I like qualifying, I like the grand prix, the great prize, but we have to also be open minded about where the sport is going to go and some of the sprint races have been fantastic.”

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But while he was coy on the specifics of the changes, he insisted that something has to be tweaked in order to better accommodate engine management and Pirelli’s current tyre offerings.

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Both Ferrari and Mercedes have struggled so far in 2023 in relation to Red Bull, who have managed a near perfect start in dominating all three races so far.

However, a strong showing from Hamilton in Melbourne saw him finish second behind Max Verstappen and should boost the Silver Arrows’ confidence heading into Baku at the end of April.

Ferrari, meanwhile, must bounce back from a nightmare weekend down under that saw Charles Leclerc retire three turns into the first lap of the race, and Carlos Sainz taken out of the points due to a penalty at the end.