Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen call for change

Race weekends were changed ahead of the 2022 Formula 1 season, as Friday became the official media day.

Both Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen have suggested that the weekend format should be changed amid the amount of media commitments the drivers are undertaking every weekend.

Ahead of the new season, race weekends were officially condensed down to just three days, with the media obligations, including the press conference, taking place on Friday morning before practice gets underway, as opposed to the full day of interviews on Thursdays.

The slightly more relaxed day on Thursday allowed the teams and drivers to undertake their track walk but, with support races frequently taking place throughout the weekend, those walks are often not possible on Friday.

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Subsequently, the track walks are still completed ahead of the weekend, and the drivers’ presence at the circuit means that there are plenty of reporters at the track vying to get some media time with them.

Therefore, unofficially, the drivers essentially end up still having the same full-length media day on Thursday, before having another one on Friday, and Verstappen does not believe this is sustainable.

“Thursday is very long, which officially is not really a day anymore, but for us, it’s the same amount or even more on a Thursday and even more on a Friday, where you come in early,” he said in the press conference ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix weekend.

“Coming in early is not a problem, but your whole day is longer, so with going to more races you would like to have a shorter weekend but actually now with more races we are also having more days we are at the track and doing stuff. 

“That definitely needs to change.”

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Vettel warns that the novelty of having drivers appear on our screens will wear away if we are listening to them perennially answering the same questions.

“So the incentive was to make it shorter. It hasn’t worked,” he explained.

“So we need to improve. We can improve. The main thing is you want us to be excited if you have the same questions for an hour. It’s not going to be. 

“We’ve been all been to the TV pen and basically our excitement is not at its peak. We need to find a better way.”

Kevin Magnussen agreed with the German, stating that it is more difficult to be “authentic” with his answers if he finds himself having to give the same answer again and again.

The reigning world champion’s grievances did not end there as he declared that he is “not a fan of the sprint” ahead of the first sprint weekend of the season, and he also jokingly bemoaned the wet weather.

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“I came to Italy basically for a bit of sun but I don’t know what happened,” he added with a giggle.

Verstappen launched himself to second in the Drivers’ Championship with victory in Imola last time out, while team-mate Sergio Perez completed the team’s 18th ever one-two finish.