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Formula 1 Belgian GP

Russell wants F1 to allow set-up changes after FP1 on sprint weekends

George Russell says he’d like to see the Formula 1 sprint regulations relaxed and teams allowed to make changes to their cars after FP1.

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14, Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR23

Cars are currently locked into parc ferme after the first session on Friday, and thus they have to run both qualifying sessions and the sprint and main event with the same set-up unless teams opt to make changes that oblige the driver to start from the pitlane.

In Spa, Russell and Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton ran different downforce levels from the start of the weekend.

With poor weather further compromising Friday running they stayed with their initial choices throughout, whereas over the course of a normal Grand Prix weekend, they would probably have converged.

"It can be really challenging," said Russell of the current format. "I still don't love the fact that you're not allowed to change the set-up of the car from after FP1.

"I think it creates an unknown for the sport, which can be exciting.

"But it's like giving a tennis player his racquet an hour before the final at Wimbledon and just saying this is what you've got, suck it up and get on with it. And with no prior practice, training.

"That's not really how other sports operate. I understand why we do it. But it would be nice to make some changes at a certain point of the weekend."

George Russell, Mercedes-AMG

George Russell, Mercedes-AMG

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Meanwhile, Russell welcomed F1's August summer break as a chance for those involved in the "brutal" sport to have a chance to take time out and reset.

"I think the summer break is a really great thing for everybody in the sport," he said. "I think we're all so motivated and determined, and I think everybody in their own right feels like a bit of a warrior and just wants to power through.

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"But I think everybody recognises the impact that a two-week break has. It totally resets and rejuvenates, but also with maybe some new ideas on how to improve. Glad to see that we as a sport have it.

"And I think there are talks of it for the winter as well. That's obviously more for the engineers and designers back at the factory. It's a brutal sport, incredibly intense. I think that would probably be a good addition."

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