Push or play it safe? Drivers offer predictions for F1 Sprint race

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Saturday's first-ever Formula 1 Qualifying Sprint race is offering a predicament for drivers ahead of the British Grand Prix.

On the one hand, with points only given to the top three, most will want to avoid trouble to ensure the best possible starting place for Sunday's race.

However, for some who had a poor qualifying on Friday, or have stronger race pace, the 17-lap Silverstone dash is a chance to make up for lost ground.

“You’ve got to be a little bit smart about it, the points are on Sunday so you don’t want to ruin yourself for Sunday and do something silly,” McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo said.

“But no, I see it as an opportunity to start further up the grid on Sunday so we’ll do that."

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Two drivers seeing a chance to make up for a tricky Friday are Carlos Sainz, who starts P9, and Red Bull's Sergio Perez.

“I think we have a good opportunity to push,” Sainz said.

“I think we need to have a look at what we can do to recover some positions because I felt like the car today could have been top six at least, so yes, we will need to find a way through.”

As for Perez, he finds himself starting behind Charles Leclerc in P5 for Red Bull after having his last lap time deleted for exceeding track limits at Stowe.

“A bit of a shame but those are the rules," said the Mexican. "I found a very different balance there at the end of Q3 unfortunately and I couldn’t get the most out of it in that lap.

“P4 would have been a bit better given that we have the Sprint race to make it up, but still there’s plenty to play for and it will be interesting to see what happens with the Sprint race.

"If we are able to make some good progress then we should be in a strong position.”

Lewis Hamilton has already predicted a processional race, something he'd like starting from P1, while Lando Norris also says his focus is on Sunday.

But George Russell has vowed to go all out in his Williams and that mix could go one of two ways, in the view of Lance Stroll.

“There’s opportunity in the sprint race to gain a few positions and maybe lose a few positions,” said the Canadian.

“There’s some different things [to] the weekend that we haven’t really experienced before, and I think the sprint race could create a bit of a mixed-up grid for the main race. We’ll see. It could also just be really boring and change nothing.”

Some though have another view altogether...

"This is like the qualifying and tomorrow the first stint of the race, and then we stop for one night and continue the race on Sunday!" Fernando Alonso commented.

"So it is going to be interesting to learn and see what we can improve from this performance."