Sebastian Vettel has backed Max Verstappen's call for a rethink of the F1 weekend format to reduce the workload on drivers.
F1 moved official media duties from Thursday afternoons to Friday mornings this year in an attempt to reduce the number of days on duty for the drivers during a race weekend.
Yet despite the change, drivers have still completed duties on Thursdays in addition to the Friday morning schedule, leading reigning champion Verstappen to highlight concerns over workload within a 23-race season.
Ahead of the recent Emilia Romagna Grand Prix weekend, the Red Bull driver said: “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.
“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.”
Asked for his thoughts regarding Verstappen's comments, Aston Martin driver and Grand Prix Drivers' Association director Vettel explained: "So the incentive was to make it shorter. It hasn't worked.
"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."
Zhou wants more time with engineers
Whilst rookie Zhou Guanyu never completed a weekend under the old media scheduling, the Chinese driver was expecting to have more time available to discuss race weekends with his Alfa Romeo engineers on Thursdays.
Also agreeing with Verstappen's comments, Zhou said: "Obviously, I haven't experienced the old one [format], but I was there as a test driver for the other team [Alpine] in the past.
"It seems to be like it was with the new format. It doesn't really increase our time with the engineers. It's just that we do more media activity so that we don't get to finish on Thursday earlier.
"If anything we finish at the same time but then we start Friday the same or earlier than before. Max already mentioned [that].
"So it's something that we can take into consideration. Maybe try to do some changes. That would be nice."
Additional reporting by Ian Parkes
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