Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Yas Marina, 2016

Dropping Friday practice not necessary – Todt

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: FIA president Jean Todt is unmoved by calls to drop Friday practice sessions.

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Last weekend’s Caption Competition winner is @Yossarian:

Daniel Ricciardo, David Coulthard, Red Bull, 2017

As per his new year tradition, Coulthard was waiting for Hakkinen to finish first.
Steve Rogers (@Yossarian)

Thanks to everyone who joined in this weekend and special mentions to Tom L, Nick, Ben Needham, Hunocsi, Roth Man, The Collaroyboys and F1Junky for also making some great suggestions.

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  • 36 comments on “Dropping Friday practice not necessary – Todt”

    1. regarding the caption, is hakkinen in that photo? if so, i thought he was a mercedes rep, surely he can’t be in red bull gear at a red bull event?

      1. No he wasn’t. Funny anyhow.

        Removing Fridays is a crude cost cutter, not to mention that it is a rare opportunity not only to test but perhaps even make some extra money from young wealthy test drivers which then get the luxury to test alongside a full grid of f1 drivers, all of this costs very little to the team that’s already on an F1 weekend. I haven’t seen anything from Cyril to say that he’s a good professional. The only interest in cutting Friday is in order to fluke a good result. I wonder what effort is Renault really trying to put. Renault f1 team seems happy enough to make the numbers rather than being bold and engage Renault to finance sufficiently.
        Bland helmet by Romain, bad from afar lacklustre from close, disappointing especially as it is not too cluttered by decals.

        1. How is it ‘funny anyhow’ when he’s not in the pic? Makes zero sense

          1. That’s the joke


          2. That’s why I stopped trying on the caption competition. Pointless.

            1. Agreed. They are modern than not horrible.

      2. Second from the left looks a bit like Hakkinen.

        1. …………….er, Im 100% sure it IS Mika! If it isnt him then the joke is pointless and doesnt make any sense! How the fark does it win a Caption competition if MH is not in the picture?

          1. He is not in the picture.

    2. Do teams really other then Renault think that friday plays no role? I see them testing track limits and setup, doing long runs on the different tyres and small things like test starts. And it helps the rookies who are on a new circuit. I like to watch it actually to get a feeling how teams are preparing.

      1. Renault don’t believe in testing. See 2014 as evidence.

      2. Just allow only test drivers on fridays. That would be fun.

        1. Without thinking about it to any depth, other than to think this would be a great idea, I think this would be a great idea.

          1. Not such a great idea for those going to a track to watch there favorite F1 drivers.

            When I attend a Friday I want to see the likes of Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel etc…. If they did turn Friday’s into a young driver only day I’d just not bother going to the track on Friday.

      3. I wouldn’t say it’s Renault that thinks it’s pointless, I’d say it’s Abiteboul. And he’s a bit thick, so we should just ignore any ideas that he has.

    3. Grosjean’s design looks messy, so many gradients of color. A punch to the eye of the beholder.
      Maybe that’s why the design used by Vettel since his move to Ferrari gained much acceptance. Simple and recognizable. I liked Nico’s helmet too, just the VI as decoration. And when Vettel used to change designs at Red Bull, I always preferred the ones with just one base color. My favorite one is still this one. I wish he could still use it. (Korea 2011)

      1. …and more pics of the same design here.

      2. Also with the blue top and the yellow-red back it seems a helmet much more fitting to Alonso.

      3. @omarr-pepper – If you covered up the logos on all helmets and tried to guess which belonged to each driver, I think most people would really struggle. I’d be impressed if I got half right…

        I don’t really understand it – just seeing some of the classic helmets evokes emotion. Senna, Hill, Schumacher, Hakkinen, Prost, Alesi, Berger, Fisichella, Wurz, Massa, Couthard, Barichello… I could carry on and on but as soon as I mention these drivers, you can immediately picture their helmet design….

        Will anyone remember any of the modern-day designs? I couldn’t accurately describe most of them now and it’s only been a couple of months since I last saw them race!

        1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
          6th February 2017, 15:52

          I always thought even Schumis design was a bit busy. The only iconic helmet in the field today I can think of is Vettels, and he used to be king of the forgettable helmet design.

          With modern day designs heavily constrained by the need for large white bands for corporate placement, its fair to say the days of unforgettable truly original lids like Graham Hills are gone.

          All hope is not lost though. For some reason MotoGP seems to have faired a lot better. Rossi’s day-glo surrealism, Lorenzo’s big X, Iannone’s luminous gunsights…

          If perhaps F1 bosses realise what a gift this is to merchandising, they might conclude that it is worth sacrificing a bit of corporate space for more driver-specific branding.

    4. What a mess modern helmets are, the latest offering from Grosjean continues the trend.

    5. On the trail of Bruce McLaren in New Zealand (Autocar)

      I think it was yesterday that I was driving through Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand, and saw a personalised numberplate along the lines of MCLRN and immediately thought of Bruce McLaren. We have a school named after him, it is, logically, along Bruce McLaren road. When I attended the school their motto was “Life is measured in Achievement”, which was taken from something he’d said or written, and the school uniform colours were blue and gold, chosen to represent two colours Bruce supposedly liked. I don’t know how Bruce managed to fit in doing a university degree and his motor car racing, he must have been very clever and worked very hard as well.
      I don’t know why it is that Bruce is still held in such high esteem compared to those who raced alongside him, although the existence of the McLaren racing team and the supercars undoubtedly contributes to the mystique.
      Last week I was doing a regular scheduled bus run along Bruce Mclaren road that had special instructions that specifically included driving through the bus bay at Bruce McLaren Intermediate to pick up students after school. That bus route also goes passed a shop that sells McLaren cars, and occasionally they put one of the F1 cars on display in the window. I don’t know if it is a car that Bruce designed or not.
      I didn’t know there was a contingent of McLaren fans and cars here, but I had seen one … or was it two cars driving around with foreign number plates on them. I wasn’t paying attention so I don’t know whether they were McLaren cars or not, but I think I did see some McLaren cars driving in close proximity to each other and did wonder if there was a McLaren car convention on.
      The day the Intermediate School first opened (it wasn’t named Bruce McLaren Intermediate then) was also the very day the Apollo 14 Astronauts were returning to earth from the moon, and in fact we saw their command module as it was reentering the atmosphere. You could see the glow of the heat shield in Auckland. I was looking through a Guiness Book of Records one day and saw they then attributed the highest re-entry speed to that Apollo mission, although it now seems Apollo 10 has that honour. The school didn’t have a school hall, so the first school assembly was on one of the football fields, which was why we saw the reentry. Officially the splashdown was on 9th February, 1971, but it may have been 10th February to us because of the International Date Line.

      1. Wow, @drycrust, those are amazing memories! Thanks for sharing them with us.

    6. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      6th February 2017, 6:33

      Friday’s my favourite day of the weekend when attending a Grand Prix, anyone even suggesting the practice be dropped must be completely out of touch with race attending fans (probably because they get paid to attend every race and take it for granted.) There is absolutely nothing wrong with the current weekend format. Please, no more sticky plasters to try and mask the real issues. Luckily I finally have faith the people in charge know what they’re doing.

      1. Exactly @rdotquestionmark! It would really diminish the whole weekend experience without the firdays. And I really don’t see any logic in wanting to make it a large “event” in town, maybe lasting the whole week and on the other hand cutting down on the value fans get out of the weekend.

        1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
          6th February 2017, 6:43

          @bascb Yes exactly. I presume race hosting fees would have to drop if tracks were to lose Friday’s gate receipt as well? Which let’s face it isn’t going to happen. Like you say it completely goes against everything Liberty have said about making the events bigger. To summarise….. Ludicrous story.

      2. It tells me that Renault are not invested in it. If their sports boss affirms that Fridays “do not play any roll” something isn’t working properly over there. If these sort of news keep coming from them how long it will take for Hulk to start thinking that maybe it wasn’t the best of decisions?

        They should take Fridays to better engage with the fans, since things are not as rushed compared to the rest of the weekend, let them wonder around the track and make the drivers come to them.

        Alonso says that Fridays are boring to watch, but for people that can only catch a glimpse of these cars once a year, I believe it won’t boring at all

      3. Agreed. It’s a relief to hear Todt say this as the format has come under discussion a lot in the last year and it really doesn’t need any tweaking at all. One of the few sensible things he has said.

      4. So Renault is also payed to attend every race and take it for granted? I think Renault team sucks at developing the car and testing the car on Friday and that’s the real problem for them. Most of the time last year they barely improved from Friday to Saturday so yes… Friday is suck a booooooooring day for them. But for the rest of the teams it seems… that Friday works :P

    7. Todt saying he does not want to tinker with the weekend schedule and remove aspects from it makes perfect sense. Fans, both at home and at the track, pay a small fortune to see the cars and removing 2/3 hours of this wouldn’t correlate to a cheaper tickets/TV deals. If he were to tinker with the schedule it could do with making it more competitive so that it is better than just watching cars drive at 90% for a few hours. However, the very nature of it being a ‘practice’ means that it being competitive is a paradox.

      One of my views is that instead of giving the fans weeklong festivals with ‘music’ and the like, why not make it so you can sit in your seat on a morning and you can sit there in the evening and watch many forms of racing? It would be a logistic nightmare admittedly, but having a schedule of F1, GP2, some sort of touring car/stock car or motorbike racing, this would make a ticket more appealing than a ‘celebrity’ mouthing along to a pop song.

      1. But the problem is that the idea of making each race into a “a week long festival” is Liberty’s idea and designed to appeal to new race hosts anxious to bring the spotlight of attention onto their location:- which is fair enough as they are going to be paying for it. The FIA on the other hand, will probably not want to see their sanctioned series (GP2, GP3 etc) becoming mere sideshows at a ‘street party’.
        I can’t recall when it was changed, but at some point in the past, qualifying was moved from Sunday morning to Saturday, and I suspect one of the reasons was to allow the race track another chance to sell meaningful amounts of tickets – albeit at a slightly reduced price – and enable the commercial rights holder to charge a little bit more for the overall event.
        So here we have a bit of a classic confrontation in the offing; commercial rights versus sporting regulation. I suspect that Liberty would like to increase the number of street courses and sell the hosting city a week long opportunity to promote themselves as a tourist location. We could have Denver, Detroit, Las Vegas back with races between Madonna and Kanye West. But what about Strasbourg, Zagreb or Minsk? And why would a new potential host country, like Thailand perhaps, want to build a first class, dedicated circuit out of town, when they can move a few lamp posts and have the race right there in the capital?

    8. ExcitedAbout17
      6th February 2017, 9:43

      I don’t care about Todt’s views on Friday practice or commercial issues.

    9. I would also appose dropping the Friday sessions as I always like watching them as there really the only time during a race weekend where you can just relax & actually just watch the cars.

      Saturday tends to be more about the stop watch as its all about preparing for qualifying & then obviously qualifying itself so your always looking at the times. And Sunday’s is all about the race so your watching the timing gaps, Keeping an eye on the lap times & positions to see where the battles are & keeping tabs on strategy etc…

      On Friday’s watching FP1/FP2 I just kind of relax & watch the cars without worrying about the timing, positions or any of that & Its really the only day where i’m flicking between the various OnBoard feeds without having worry about possibly missing something important (A pole lap or an overtake during the race for example). It’s really the only day of the weekend where your able to really watch, analyze & compare what everyone is doing. Who’s car looks better in corner/sector x, Who’s able to take corner y flat & who’s lifting, Who’s able to brake a bit later & who looks a bit out at sea in terms of setup.

    10. It’s funny how people complain of how the helmet liveries are over-designed, yet the cars are boring. Horses for courses if you ask me. I quite like the Grosjean helmet. Orange and blue is a classic bold contrast. And it’s layered well to give a nice illusion of depth.

      I’m 100% sure if the helmets were as “bold” and “classic” as the cars curs liveries the complaints would be just as loud if not louder. Have a look here of what the cars could look like if the liveries were designed with the same modern design sense as the helmets. Absolutely beautiful.

      1. cars current* liveries

        1. @Tristan So cool. Thanks for that link. Hard to pick a favourite as they all look so cool.

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