Lewis Hamilton believes completing three sessions during an F1 weekend is more than possible after a revised format was implemented in Baku with just one practice session across three days.
The 2023 Azerbaijan GP saw Friday qualifying setting the grid for race day, whilst Saturday would be dedicated to the new Sprint format, with a short qualifying session earlier in the day before the Sprint race later on, forcing a four-hour break between the sessions.
“I still think you can do three days,” Hamilton told the media after the Sprint race. “The teams get here way earlier on Monday and Tuesday, I get here on Wednesday like you guys.
“There are four hours of waiting between sessions today. I think today we could have at least [had] three sessions, but I don’t know if that’s possible with all the different Formulas.”
Fan of the new format
The new format may have promised fireworks, but Red Bull continued their dominance as Sergio Perez won his maiden Sprint from Charles Leclerc and teammate Max Verstappen.
Verstappen, who came into the weekend openly stating he wasn’t a fan of the new format, was involved in a post-sprint argument with Hamilton’s teammate George Russell after making contact on Lap 1.
Hamilton had been running fifth during the race’s opening stages but lost two places when Carlos Sainz made a late lunge into Turn 1, opening the door for Fernando Alonso to squeeze by.
“I generally like it,” said Hamilton. “I think there is a lot of time wasted on the weekend, so I think we could do it in a shorter amount of days.
“People did improve, George improved, so I thought it was cool, but I like qualifying.”