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Norris backs Verstappen F1 sprint criticism

Norris backs Verstappen F1 sprint criticism

Norris backs Verstappen F1 sprint criticism

Norris backs Verstappen F1 sprint criticism
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

Lando Norris has backed Max Verstappen's criticism of F1's sprint race expansion.

The São Paulo Grand Prix represents the final sprint weekend of three this season, with Imola and Austria hosting the previous two.

But the sport will usher in a further three to take the number of sprints to six for next season, despite the seemingly mixed reaction to the initiative since the trials were introduced last year.

Verstappen was scathing in his criticism of the format, saying: "We should just stick to one race. I don’t understand what the problem is with that.

“We have had so many exciting races, so you don’t need to add one-third of a race distance.

“Everyone is super-careful anyway because if you are fighting for third and you have a little touch and drop back to last, you know your race on Sunday is going to be pretty tough, so probably you are not going to risk it.

"That is not what a race should be about.”

READ MORE: Verstappen slates 'no feeling' sprints as F1 gears up for expansion

Siding with the two-time world champion, McLaren driver Norris added: “Growing up, always having qualifying and then a race, that’s always what I’ve known Formula 1 to be.

"So in a way, I’m with Max on that.

“I love just to build up the pressure of just having qualifying and one race with nothing coming between, that’s just the structure of it.

“But at the correct tracks, I also don’t mind it.

"So when it was in Austria or Monza, tracks you can actually race on - Interlagos, reasonably. Not the easiest track for most people to race on."

Pointed out that Lewis Hamilton started last year's sprint last in Brazil only to go on and win the grand prix proper, Norris replied: “That’s Lewis in a Mercedes.

“I don’t think it’s for everyone. It’s not as simple as saying ‘Lewis did this or that’. You have to look at the whole grid, the whole field and there are obvious ones which everyone races at and can have good fun in and, if you want to put on a better show which is what the whole point of it is, then I understand it.

“But I like Formula 1 how it is, just because I’ve grown up watching that, then being part of it. Sometimes I don’t like change. I also don’t mind it.”

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