Russell urges F1 to be patient over new concepts

George Russell

Formula 1 needs to be patient when it comes to introducing new concepts to spice up the racing, warns George Russell.

The advent of Saturday sprint races has been a key talking point during the build up to the 2021 season.

Though details are sparse, a working group is currently tasked with nailing down the specifics.

It’s predicted sprint races will form part of an expanded qualifying format at selected grands prix, likely in Canada, Italy, and Brazil.

“I’ve not really heard what the ideas for the sprint race are, and how the formats would work,” Russell admitted.

“I think the idea of mixing the weekend up a little bit can be interesting.”

However, the Briton has warned against making too many changes as the sport looks to usher in a new era of aerodynamic rules next season.

Beyond that, there are new engine regulations to follow in 2025, making for a lengthy period of comparatively radical change in the sport.

The 2022 regulations in particular have been designed with a view to increasing the ability for cars to run closer together.

That’s being achieved by a move towards ground effects, where downforce is generated underneath the car rather than via surfaces in the direct airstream.

“Ultimately, the racing in Formula 1 needs to improve and I think that will improve in 2022 when the car and the technical regulations basically allow the drivers to fight,” Russell said.

“So we could just be patient.”

A 2022-spec F1 design during wind tunnel testing

A key consideration with regards to the introduction of sprint races is protecting the integrity of the competition, a point stressed by FIA President Jean Todt.

The reverse grid concept was abandoned as it would artificially alter the order.

“As long as it doesn’t, from a personal point of view, create any unnecessary gimmicks, false racing, I think that’s the main thing,” added Russell’s Williams team-mate, Nicholas Latifi.

“Formula 1 has to remain true to what it is, which is obviously the outright development and the best technology, best cars, the best drivers winning.

“As long as that stays the same, if there is a few changes to the format here and there, I’m completely for it.

“It could create more opportunities as well which, again, for the position we might be in this year, might be welcome,” he added.

“Then, as George mentioned, looking ahead to next year, I think the regulations will – if they do what they’re supposed to do – hopefully create a bit more excitement.”

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