Formula 1 Friday Practice sessions could be scrapped in favour of more races


Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Formula 1 Friday Practice Sessions could be scrapped in order to allow more races on the calendar.

The plan was revealed by Formula One Managing Director of Motorsports, Ross Brawn in a meeting with Librerty Media last Sunday over the future of the sport.

Teams often use Friday practice sessions to help develop their cars to configure with the track in terms of setup, tyres, weather and development parts fitted onto their cars.

Many Grand Prix venues tend to sell Friday tickets at a discounted price in order to attract fans who can’t afford the full price tag for a race weekend. But Liberty Media is looking to stop Friday’s and increase the number of races on the calendar.

Teams fear that more races added on the calendar will increase costs and more time away from home for employers.

Speaking to Forbes, Ross Brawn says that Formula 1 teams will have logistical issues if they add more races onto the calendar.

“The teams have logistical issues the more races we add,” said Brawn.

“One of the things we are doing is looking at the format of a race weekend to see if we need to change that to make it logistically easier for them to do more races. So we have got a very open mind about how we go forward.”

Formula 1 plans to host twenty one races next year, a equal record for most Grands Prix in a calendar year with the return of the German Grand Prix and French Grand Prix. But F1’s new owners have openly said they could push the calendar up to twenty five races in the future.

McLaren Honda Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso earlier in the year said that he would quit the sport if the calendar ever went to twenty five, saying that “it’s not for me”.

Brawn says that’s the idea of simply removing Friday sessions would help increase races on the calendar, but Friday is considered important for the sponsors and promoters that finding a right solution would be complicated.

“I think the core race is still, for me personally, very important. We are not looking at changing the core event, but open question, do we need Friday running?

“Because if we didn’t have Friday running, we could do more races because logistically it is better for the teams. But Friday running is important for the promoters and the broadcasters. How do we find the right solution?”