More drivers and more tyres for first practice

2014 F1 season

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The first practice session of a race weekend should see more activity next year as more drivers will be allowed to participate and they will have more tyres to use.

Teams may now use up to four drivers during the first practice session instead of two, opening up the possibility for them to use junior drivers at the beginning of the session before their race drivers.

They will also be given an extra set of the harder prime specification tyres which must be used during the first half hour of the first practice session before being returned.

Whereas previously any extra drivers took the number of the driver they replaced during the session, they must now use their own individual numbers.

The FIA also added a clause stipulating that a minimum of 24 hours must pass between the starts of the first and third practice sessions.

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Keith Collantine
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25 comments on “More drivers and more tyres for first practice”

  1. With the new engine rules I’m not sure many teams will run more laps than needed. If anything they’ll probably nurse the engines as much as they can in my opinion.

    1. Not necessarily. Teams will likely create ultra conservative engines at the start. We may see them doing all they can to acquire data.

    2. That was also the worry in 2004 when they changed the engine rules to double the km length engines needed to last. Ended up having very little effect.

    3. The new engines are designed to give maximum power at 10,000 rpm. they should be bulletproof, baring electronic , ERS or overheating problems, and if you are going to have those problems the earlier the better.

      1. Really? That early in the powerband? Where did you hear that?

        1. The engines are limited to 10,000 rpm next year. It’s part if the new engine regs.

          1. They’re limited to 15,000rpm. It’s doubtful they’ll run that high all the time however, firstly due to fuel economy and secondly that they’ll produce immense torque at almost all revs.

  2. Hm, interesting, so will we see teams putting different numbers on cars during FP1?

    I guess this really should open the way for local drivers and ATM-Drivers like Gonzalez to drive regularly in the first 30 minutes of a session. Maybe they should mandate that a team gives their 3rd drivers at least 2-4 of those per season to keep them race worthy?

    1. The rule of unintended consequences, how do they ensure the numbers stay on at 200 mph. yet come of quickly for a driver change ?

  3. Finally a good new rule

  4. This is the first new rule this week that I don’t mind. It should help younger drivers get a feel for the F1 environment and the cars without the usual drivers suffering. I can only see a handful using this though and they’re the usual suspects: Force India (Calado), Toro Rosso (Sainz), Caterham (Rossi), Marussia (Gonzalez) and maybe Williams (Nasr).

  5. I like this new rule, gives a good opportunity for the younger drivers to dip their toes into driving an F1 car on all the current tracks. Also, the extra tyre should give more running, although as mention above by @jons it is possible there may not actually be that much running. Although, field testing the new engines will be important so, there could be more running. We’ll see next year.
    Also, since F1 is opening it’s doors to more drivers, how about it starts to open it’s doors to the possibility of online streaming services. (Just trying to shove this in here).

  6. What is this sanity coming from the FIA? This is not in keeping with their rules of nonsense at all! Could it be someone is actually giving proper consideration to instituting new rules rather than knee-jerking us to death with statutes of idiocy?

  7. FIA is starting to open up their tight as(s), then?

  8. Some teams (ie Sauber) refused to even run one alternate driver in practice sessions so I don’t think allowing them to run two will make any difference. I can only really see Caterham and maybe Marussia taking full advantage of this. Other teams will say that it’ll hinder a race driver’s weekend.

    For it to be fully effective they should say that teams must run at least one young/test driver in FP1

    1. I agree. Teams will hardly change drivers when they want to learn as much as possible and gives their drivers the best chances.
      A rule stating they are obliged to run a younger for half an hour will solve this problems.

  9. Teams may now use up to four drivers during the first practice session instead of two, opening up the possibility for them to use junior drivers at the beginning of the session before their race drivers.

    Crazy, wild prediction: neither Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari or McLaren will actually do this. Ever. Lotus unlikely to do so as well.

    1. @npf1

      you never know, they might run a reserve driver in the first 30 minutes with the extra set of tires, or for some of the installation laps.

  10. I’m confused, does this mean teams are allowed to run four cars in FP1? Guess not so it’s two cars max but they can swap drivers during the session?

    1. No, there’s no rule about them bringing more cars… it’s likely just a sticker/decal for the replacement driver and they peel it off when the other driver boards the car.

  11. So… are young drivers who test during free practice going to take numbers “for life”? Even if they won’t drive a F1 again in their life, like it will happen for most of them? Well I start to think that 98 numbers are not SO MUCH… better be ready to open up your mind to three-digits numbers, FIA.
    Sorry for bad English.

    1. Fair point.
      Let’s start with 22 ‘regular’ drivers, plus 8 or so ‘young’ drivers. That’s 30 numbers straight off. Now let’s assume that during the season, 10 different young drivers are given a drive in FP1. That 40 numbers in Season 1.
      Some of the young drivers will then replace the regular drivers at the end of the season. But at that rate, 98 numbers will last about 3 years.

  12. Not enough… they need to force teams to use young drivers in FP1. 14 times a season, 7 sit-outs per race driver. Teams pick when.

    Not every race, but still provides 154 FP1 opportunities for kids.

  13. on FP1
    more drivers = more income
    same number of car = less time per driver
    more number of car = more expenditure
    more expenditure = counter productive with budget restriction

    meh, unrealistic rule but at least more likeable anyway

  14. I’m guessing the number change may not necessarily be physically on the car but instead will be electronically as far as timing & scoring is concerned ;)

    Though if it is physically changing the number on the car, atleast for the nose number it won’t be that hard to do since it could either be directly on the nose-cone or on one of the access panels on the top of the nose so they could swap out easily.

    That being said, am I the only one that doesn’t really care about numbers in F1? It’s not like in NASCAR where the number is easily readable from pretty much every viewpoint of the car, nor is it like sportscar racing where the numbers are pretty much in standard locations and there is a readable number from pretty much every angle of the car, heck even Indycar has numbers easily findable on the side of the car (rear-wing endplates). On most F1 cars the number is on the nose somewhere (certain cars like the Force India have it buried between the front wing pylons making it near impossible to see) and then there is supposed to be a number on each side of the car but 99% of the time they’re near impossible to find especially on TV.

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