“The Suggestion Would Have My Vote” – Mercedes Boss Toto Wolff Ready for a Radical Change in F1

October 17, 2020 6:10 pm

Going forward,  a two-day race weekend in Formula 1 is a very real possibility. It is something that Mercedes boss Toto Wolff also concurs with.

Up until now, the tried and tested format has been a three-day race weekend. Friday has free practice sessions for the drivers to gain familiarity.

Saturday consists of three phases of Qualifying, where pace determines grid positions. While Sunday brings about the grand spectacle, the main race, where all the 20 drivers battle it out.

Mercedes’ Wolff likes the idea from a ‘sporting perspective’

There may be internal discussions at the FIA over a reduced program. Of course, there are various angles they would have to consider in order to execute a two-day race weekend.

One person who is in support of this idea is Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff. He believes that the unpredictability gained from reduced time will add something different to the sport.

Formula One F1 – Eifel Grand Prix – Nurburgring, Nurburg, Germany – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during the race Pool via REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

Wolff was quoted as saying, “Personally, I like it. The fewer test laps, the less data, the more unpredictability and variety. Then it is not the strongest who wins, but the one who adapts best.

“So the most innovative team and the driver who adapts to the track and the tires the fastest. From a sporting point of view, such a suggestion would have my vote.” said Wolff. (translated via Google Translate)

The element of surprise means teams have to adapt

The shortened racing schedule at Nurburgring was because of foul weather. It was especially challenging for drivers, considering a Grand Prix had not taken place there for nearly 7 years.

Formula One F1 – Eifel Grand Prix – Nurburgring, Nurburg, Germany – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton wins the race Pool via REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

Eventually, the results were seen during free practice and the main race. A few twists and slip-offs reflected the lack of familiarity from the drivers, which they might have gained from the two extra practice sessions.

It has already been confirmed that the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on November 1 will be a two-day affair. Imola will see a 1.5-hour free practice session before the intense qualifying session ensues.

Bhargav Gopal

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune. Bhargav is quite a genius in his field, having won the All-India Marketing Case Study Competition 2015. He also loves to combine his love for marketing and sports by taking part in competitions like Knockout: Sports Marketing Case Study by IIM Ahmedabad.

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