George Russell hits out at ‘unfair’ F1 rules amid calls for big change

Formula One preview: A lap of the Australian Grand Prix

George Russell has backed F1 boss Stefano Domenicali’s call for F1 rules changes as he claimed the current format is “unfair”. The Mercedes star and GPDA director said it was not right that F1 gets three practice sessions while support races only get one.

Russell bites back at Hamilton as Mercedes duo arrive in Melbourne []

He also stressed that junior drivers should get more on-track action in what could be a major shake-up of the F1 timetable. When pushed on whether drivers needed three practice sessions over the weekend, Russell was eager to vent his frustration at the current system.

He replied: “I think no is the answer. I think the more practice you do the more up to speed you’ll be. I don’t think it’s fair that F1 has three times the amount of practice you have in F3 and F2 categories.

“They should be the ones getting more practice and also because they are doing less races they don’t get to test often.

“No practice will be too little. I wasn’t in favour of the sprint races initially but having done six, nine maybe in the two years, I really enjoy the sprint races. And having action on the Friday is vital for all of us and also for the entertainment factor.”

F1 boss Domenciali reiterated his suggestions that practice sessions should be cancelled ahead of the Australian GP. He explained: “I am a supporter of the cancellation of free practice sessions which are of great use to the engineers, but that the public doesn’t like.”

It’s not the first time the Italian has pitched the idea, calling for practice to be reduced to just one session last summer. However, there are concerns reducing the on-track running would annoy fans who have paid money to watch cars on track.

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Domenciali revealed he would find a workaround for this but has yet to table any concrete ideas. He added: “Free practice is very interesting for the engineers or for the drivers, but at the end of the day, in sport, you need to fight for something.

“Every time we will be on the track – with the respect of the race on Sunday, that has to be always the most important part of it – there should be something to fight for in terms of points, in terms of awards. That’s my opinion.”

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