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Verstappen slates single-practice format at Imola as "stupid" and "wrong"

Verstappen slates single-practice format at Imola as "stupid" and "wrong"

F1 News

Verstappen slates single-practice format at Imola as "stupid" and "wrong"

Verstappen slates single-practice format at Imola as "stupid" and "wrong"

Max Verstappen has criticised the experiment of running a single 90-minute practice session at Imola this season as "stupid" and "wrong".

The circuit returns to the calendar for the first time since 2006 and is staging a two-day race weekend for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

This is primarily due to the additional time required to make the 1,500-mile journey from Portimao in the Algarve that will be hosting the Portuguese Grand Prix the weekend previously.

The one practice session, though, has left Verstappen puzzled as the severe lack of experience at Imola on the current grid means the teams will need as much running as possible.

"If we’re on a track where we knew we’d be driving with the cars we have nowadays, I think it’s not a problem at all," said the Red Bull driver of the new format.

"But when you go to a new track and only have one session… In the end, it’s the same for everyone so there’s no problem with that.

"But I just think it’s a bit wrong. Just give us two sessions to sort things out, [to] just make sure everything is working well instead of just one session.

"The two-day format, I don’t really care, but then give us two practice sessions. It’s better to do two one-hour sessions than one one-and-a-half [hour session]. So I think it’s a bit stupid."

The only driver on the current grid with F1 experience at Imola is Kimi Raikkonen who has driven six grands prix at the track, notably finishing second in the 2003 San Marino Grand Prix.

Team-mate Alexander Albon also sided with Verstappen, adding he is not against the principle of having one practice session ahead of a grand prix, but feels Imola was the wrong option for such an idea.

"To me, it would make more sense to do a two-day event on a track like this [Silverstone] where we’re doing a double-header," he said.

"We don’t really need to do three days at the same circuit. I think it would be a good idea to test it out now and give us three days at Imola."

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