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F1 News: Max Verstappen Complains About Changes To Weekend Ahead Of Imola GP

Max Verstappen has raised concerns over a new media schedule which has significantly bumped up the workload for drivers. Now, the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GPDA), directed by George Russell, has written to the F1 and FIA to explain how the drivers feel about the changes and how they could be improved, according to Motorsport.com.

Reportedly, drivers feel it unnecessary to answer the same questions multiple times for different television productions. They also want changes to how the media timetable works before they head to the track on Thursdays an Fridays. The FIA has stopped the media day on the Thursday, instead moving this to an official press conference on the Friday morning which is more compressed.

But the drivers believe that while their Thursdays have just been filled with other responsibilities, they’re not given an extra-long day on the Friday.

Max Verstappen said the following:

“I think it’s more about how we’re doing the press conferences and the media activities. I think it was better before.

“Now our Thursday is very long, which officially is not really a day anymore. But actually for us, it’s the same amount of you, or even more on a Thursday, and even more now on a Friday, where you come in early.

“Coming in early is not a problem, but your whole day is longer. So going to more races, you would like to have a shorter weekend.

“But actually now, with more races, we’re also having longer weekends, so at least more days that we are actually at the track and doing stuff. So yeah, that definitely needs to change.”

The Belgian driver then brought up answering the same questions multiple times to different production companies:

“We do this (press conference), then we go outside, then we have to speak to all the individual [television] media.

“But they all ask the same question. And you basically are repeating yourself six or seven times. You try to keep it interesting to try and word it in a different way but, at the end of the day, you say the same thing, right?

“What you see in other sports, when they have a press conference, there are a lot of mics just brought together. And actually, instead of giving the broadcasters just two questions each, they all have six, eight or ten questions just in one go, and they can all broadcast it.

“So I think that’s also way more efficient and nicer for everyone, and you get a lot more out of the drivers.”

GPDA director and Mercedes driver George Russell wanted to define how the drivers wanted to go about complaining about these changes:

“I’ve only been around for three years but between all of the drivers, we are incredibly united and we’ve got constant communication with F1 and the FIA to try to improve our sports in every single aspect,” he said.

“It is forever changing but there isn’t more to elaborate at the moment. But I think it’s important that between drivers, F1 and the FIA we’re all on the same page and we’re all pushing the same direction.”

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