F1 Tweaks Free Practice Running Ahead of the 2021 Formula One Season

Published 12/31/2020, 2:51 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during the race Pool via REUTERS/Giuseppe Cacace


F1 has been looking forward to cut down on costs with the new season of F1. The FIA has already imposed a budget cap on the constructors and is trying to further find ways for efficient curbing of expenses. Reportedly, as part of that initiative, they have reduced the FP duration on Friday.

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The Free Practice is crucial to every team as the drivers get used to the circuit and find out how the car reacts to the tarmac. However, they will not have more two hours of practice from next season.

Having been cut short to 60 mins, the sessions will take place with a gap of at least two-and-a-half hours. This will affect the routine of the entire weekend.

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The F1 circus usually functions for 4 days. Starting from Thursday, with the official press conference, and then moving ahead to the Friday practice. This is further followed by the Saturday Qualifying, and finally, the race on Sunday.

However, the Thursday routine will have to be eliminated as the pilots will be no longer be available.

With Thursday gone and the weekend compressed, they have reduced the travel time for the entire crew by an hour. As it is, the travel for the crew is tedious, and an hour’s relief will be a lot for them.

Article 32.1 a) states: “Two free practice sessions, each lasting an hour and at least two and a half hours apart, will take place on the second day of the event.

Only time can tell how this will affect the teams and the pilots.

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The article had another clause about P3 and its timings. It stated that the third training session over one hour will now begin at least 19 hours (instead of 18.5 hours before) after the end of the second session. This means following this would be the Qualifying rounds of the Sunday race.

With the pilots being deprived of almost an hour of practice time, how will they make it up?

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during the race Pool via REUTERS/Giuseppe Cacace

The FIA is putting an effort to jinx up the weekend in order to instill uncertainty within the grid. They have altered several rules and their promise to rejuvenate F1 seems to be working fine.

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Well, it is not just them but everyone who hopes that they will experience the similar thrill they once used to in 2022.

Drivers have often have complained about the race being monotonous. The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix had racers like Daniel and Hamilton wishing that the FIA lives up to its promise of making the sport interesting again.

Well, the 2021 season isn’t far and very soon we will see for ourselves how far have they succeeded.

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Indrasish Ganguly

395 articles

Indrasish Ganguly is an F1 author at Essentially Sports. An avid fan of the F1 championship, the Kolkata based writer admires Lewis Hamilton the most on the F1 grid. His interest in racing stems from his love for cars and speed.

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