Formula 1 fans can rejoice, as one long-standing demand for the race weekend is set to be enforced. For years, the Formula 1 community has called for the sport to tweak the conventional practice session format.
At the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in Imola this year, F1 won’t hold a free practice session on Friday.
According to the revised race schedule on Formula1.com, teams won’t get any running on Friday. Instead, there will a single free practice session for 90 minutes followed by the conventional Grand Prix schedule.
Sadly, this revised format is only applicable to this year’s race in Imola.
“The format allows for a single practice session on Saturday morning at 10am local time – instead of the usual three spread across Friday and Saturday – meaning the drivers will have just 90 minutes to get a feel for the track and to finalise their car set-up. Qualifying will follow at 2pm local time” reads a statement on F1.com.
The biggest reason why fans prefer limited running before a race is due to the unpredictability factor. Now, with two sessions axed, teams could face the challenge of dealing with the elements or unexpected tire wear.
By eliminating a significant chunk of free practice, F1 is exposing all teams to a potential curveball on Sunday’s race. Moreover, with F1 returning to Imola after 14 years, drivers won’t have a whole lot of time to get to grips with the circuit.
F1 introduced Imola as part of a 3 race addition to the 2020 calendar. F1 returns to the Nurburgring on October 11, followed by a race in Portimao, Portugal on October 25.
Concluding the triplet, F1 is set to race in Imola for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on November 1.
The addition of the aforementioned classic tracks is at the cost of F1 canceling races in the Americas. Due to the current Coronavirus situation, Formula 1 pulled the plug on the US, Canadian, Mexican, and Brazilian Grands Prix.
It may be in force for a single Grand Prix, but holding one practice session in Imola could be the catalyst that sparks a genuine interest in revamping the current race weekend.