Max Verstappen and George Russell fire warning at Stefano Domenicali in Australia

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali is pushing for further changes to be made to the sport's weekend format.

Reigning World Champion Max Verstappen has warned F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali that too many changes to the format could “lose the soul of Formula 1”, with the Italian having revealed an idea to scrap the bulk of free practice.

Domenicali has made it no secret that he’s not a fan of free practice and believes that every session should have something at stake.

F1’s CEO admitted ahead of this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix that he is pushing to remove as many practice sessions as possible, potentially to be replaced with another qualifying session.

Interestingly, several drivers agree with Domenicali that three free practice sessions are too many, including, Grand Prix Drivers’ Association director and Mercedes driver George Russell.

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“No practice would be too little,” said Russell.

“But I really enjoy the sprint races and having action on a Friday, I think, is vital for all of us and also for the entertainment factor.”

Pierre Gasly is another driver in favour of axing some of the current practice sessions, with the Alpine driver having admitted that there is “no need from a driving point of view” to have three every Grand Prix.

“I think one, two maximum, is more than enough or us,” said Gasly.

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Nico Hulkenberg was another driver to show his support for Domenicali’s idea: “I quite liked Formula 2 at the time, having only 30 minutes and then thrown into qualifying.”

Verstappen, though, has a very different view on Domenicali’s plans and is perhaps taking a more traditional approach, with the double World Champion not wanting the sport to lose its identity.

The Red Bull driver has never hidden his dislike of sprint weekends nor the growing calendar, with the 25-year-old aware that “too much” experimenting could become an issue.

“It’s no secret – I’m not a fan of sprint weekends,” he said. “I’m also not a fan of this jam-packed calendar.

“We also have to be very careful with experimenting too much with Formula 1 in other ways, otherwise we’ll lose the soul of Formula 1.”

Verstappen does think a practice session each weekend could be removed given the size of the current calendar; however, the championship leader believes that Domenicali should be focusing on areas other than the format to make “more exciting races”.

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“Well, if we do this many races, maybe you can cancel a practice session,” said Verstappen. “But I wouldn’t change anything else.

“I think the focus should instead be on finding ways of getting the field closer together. That’s what would lead to more exciting races.

“I think that’s more important right now than tinkering with the format.”