Max Verstappen stressed the fact that having the FP2 session before the Sprint Qualifying is pretty useless.
With the new weekend format, the qualifying session has been anticipated to Friday. That means that teams cannot make big changes to the setup due to the parc ferme rule. However, Formula 1 still decided to run a second free practice session on Saturday.
Since the setup cannot be changed, the teams can only try to understand how the car behaves in the long run or better figure out how the tires work. Despite that, Verstappen still does not understand the decision to have FP2 since the setup cannot be changed.
“What I find weird is you do qualifying and then you can’t change anything on the car,” he told Ziggo Sport.
“Then you have another free practice and then the sprint race. Then I think to myself: why not drop that second free practice, as it doesn’t matter anymore?”
Verstappen also pointed out that having qualifying on Friday does not feel the same as running it on Saturday. Plus, Verstappen said that he hopes to be able to attack more on Saturday.
“It’s just another Friday,” he said. “But instead of FP2, you have a qualifying session, which doesn’t count as pole position. So that’s a bit weird, of course.
“It feels a bit weird to do a qualifying where there is nothing at stake. You don’t get that pole feeling or whatever. But hopefully, we can attack on Saturday, we’ll see.”
To conclude, Verstappen said that the track temperature and a wrong setup did not help him to reach first place in qualifying.
“I didn’t expect so much grip and ultimately I think we’ve put a bit too much rear wing as well,” he said. “But the track was much faster all of a sudden in qualifying, especially the slow corners.
“There are so many flat out now, you can’t gain a lot of time in those fast corners anymore. It was just not ideal.”