Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Hungaroring, 2018

Ricciardo wants “less laps of nonsense” but is wary of adding Saturday races

2018 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by and

Daniel Ricciardo is in favour of cutting the amount of practice Formula 1 drivers do during race weekends but expressed reservations over doing two races per weekend.

F1 is discussing potential changes to race weekends which could involve less practice time, shorter races, more than one race per weekend. Ricciardo said he is in favour of reducing the four hours of practice drivers get at each grand prix.

“I would prefer no practice,” he said. “Qualify Saturday morning, race Saturday afternoon and race again Sunday. Less laps of nonsense and more laps of meaningful business.”

However he said the sport needs to be cautious about making radical changes. “I want to be serious, it’s obviously not the F1 everyone’s used to so you have to be careful with two races and all this.

“But I like racing, I don’t like practice so much. If it meant we could race more through a year and do less practice, that sounds good for me.”

Other drivers including Sebastian Vettel have spoken out against having two races per weekend. Pierre Gasly is also not keen on the idea.

“I’m not a big fan of it because since I’m born and I followed F1 it’s always been like this,” he said. “One grand prix in a weekend and that’s the main event. You always wait [for] the race on Sunday.”

Gasly believes the sport needs to make improvements in other areas. “I don’t think that the main thing to look at at the moment. In terms of format, I think it’s pretty good.

“I’d rather give us more tyres in practice so we can be more out on track so I think the spectators will watch a bit more cars going around. But I think the format is great.

“I think overall it’s pretty good that they try to make the cars, all the teams, a bit closer in terms of performance so it becomes a bit less predictable. If they manage to get 10 cars every weekend with the chance to fight for the podium I think that will be amazing. That’s the main thing they should focus on. If they get 20 cars fighting for the podium that will be even better.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2018 F1 season

Browse all 2018 F1 season articles

Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

Posted on Categories 2018 F1 season, F1 newsTags , ,

Promoted content from around the web | Become a RaceFans Supporter to hide this ad and others

  • 47 comments on “Ricciardo wants “less laps of nonsense” but is wary of adding Saturday races”

    1. I think Gasly has it nailed here. I think their main focus should be the cars and the product on the track, and I am confident that is indeed their focus and what they will achieve. So I wouldn’t mess with the weekend format until they have seen the effects of the new cars and the new racing in 2021.

      1. yeah, I also think that gets it perfectly @robbie. I can see how they could cut down on FP sessions – less practice might help give us more surprises come qualifying and the race – but there are far more important things to tackle than changing the race weekend around. Especially since qualifying has often been the saviour of the weekend for recent years.

    2. The two race format does not cut it for me. I don’t know its origins but Supercars use it and as far as I can see it adds nothing of value. It cheapened the Australian Touring Car championship, and combined with the other changes turned it into a poor mans Nascar. If that wasn’t bad enough they ruined Bathurst. As far as I’m concerned F1 is the top tier of circuit racing, more is does not necessarily mean better.

      1. @johnrkh

        If that wasn’t bad enough they ruined Bathurst.

        What did they do?

        1. I must admit to my extreme prejudice on this subject. I was a big fan of the ATCC, I went to many races at Warwick Farm, Oran PK and Amaroo PK. The racing was mostly brilliant, because the different classes of cars allowed for some pretty tough racing.
          The Bathurst was separate and “production” car based. It was a unique race in the world and provided some of the best moments of motor racing ever to be seen. Then in 73 they made some changes that I think was the beginning of the (end?) domination of the factory teams. As the modifications allowed would be to costly for most privateers to test and implement.
          But the biggest mistake in my opinion was the change of rules in 92 which led to the mess of the next few yrs and finally to the V8 Supercars from 99 on. After that it became a two make race. I know some other brands have dipped their toe in but not for long. I’m guessing to many shared components.
          The cars now are so similar they are hard to pick without the number on the side and the way they use “Safety Cars” is to say the least questionable.
          But anyway back to F1.

      2. Completely disagree with the Supercars comment. Not always they have two races and actually when they do they usually play out quite fine after one day of racing. In my personal view V8 Supercars is the best racing series out there, period. It has nothing to do with the number of races per weekend so I’d say that F1 is looking for some “show” solutions again instead of fixing the main issue which is crappy racing and two tiers of teams (well three if we count in Wiliams this year).

        1. The main reason Supercars went to the multiple race format is that some of the tracks are extremely short – eg Wanneroo has a lap time of around 55 seconds. This is OK for sprints but not for longer events. The same issue doesn’t apply at F1.

      3. As far as I’m concerned F1 is the top tier of circuit racing, more is does not necessarily mean better.

        Yes, that’s exactly right. A lot of effort goes into each of those 70 or whatever laps, and if you add more laps the amount of effort is reduced.
        The Grand Prix weekend is already two races: Qualifying and The Race. We don’t think of Qualifying as a race, but it is: it’s a single lap timed race. Sure, there’s no trophy for winning Qualifying, but the winner is recorded as being on Pole Position. Supposedly there’s an advantage in being on Pole Position or on the front row, and often commentators will tell you the chances of winning The Race from the front row.
        Qualifying is a weighting factor that gives a successful driver an advantage in the race compared to an unsuccessful driver who receives a mild penalty for their poor performance. Also, because of the way the points system is structured, your chances of earning points increases or decreases because of your Qualifying result.
        Many of us have busy schedules, so we need to set aside time to watch the race. I hardly ever see a race live, the time is usually too inconvenient. If it weren’t for the fact my local broadcaster has a streaming service which is cheaper than what they charge for those who watch sports on TV I wouldn’t watch the races at all. I don’t know if you have to pay to record the races to watch later, but if you do have to pay extra then that’d be just another impediment to watching races.

    3. I don’t like the idea of cutting practice because as i’ve argued before practice is the only time when you can actually really watch the cars & analyze how each car is performing & what each driver is doing. Practice been more laid back you also have the commentators able to discuss things, Engage with fans via social media & you can have things like where on Sky Martin Brundle stands trackside at various corners to discuss how cars are looking through there.

      In qualifying it’s all about watching the lap times & in the races it’s all about watching lap times, gaps, tyre life, strategy etc… So there’s no time to just sit back & enjoy watching the cars & flick around the various feeds as you can during practice sessions.

      And i’m also totally against a second race, I don’t see any value in adding one other than if you want to devalue the actual main GP. Besides we already have the support races on Saturday afternoon so if you want to watch a race on Saturday, Watch those!

      In short, The current weekend format is fine & should be left as is!

      1. I too really enjoy when Brundle goes to those trackside locations to talk us through what is happening at various corners from angles we wouldn’t see otherwise.

        1. Michael Brown (@)
          11th August 2018, 18:50

          Thirded

      2. I think though, maybe just 2 practice sessions on Friday, and not doing one on Saturday, may be better. 3 seems a bit much for what they do.
        But Gasly is right, there shouldn’t be 2 races, and instead of going for a sprint and a feature race, they should focus on making the cars quick and race-able, and improve the one race we have.

      3. Stelmeister…..One can only hope that the powers that be, pay more attention to what fans like you have to say, rather than that nonsense from…Ricciardo.

    4. I welcome the fact that they are considering changes, if it is not being done in a knee-jerk way (a la Ecclestone era, thank goodness those days are over). However, they really shouldn’t mess with the main event, it is a special occasion we fans wait for during weeks, when a season is going good it’s like waiting for Christmas when we’re kids (on a smaller scale).

    5. I disagree with Ricciardo and agree with both Seb and Gasly. The current amount of practice(s) is fine as it is, and so is the race weekend format itself as a whole, so just leave them alone. Yes, having less practice time has occasionally being followed (either coincidently or not) by an exciting race like both in Sochi and COTA in 2015, but I think that in the long-term, having less practice time wouldn’t be that great of an idea overall.

    6. I like the weekends just the way they are right now.

      Practice is good for setting up the car, but also to let young drivers test and tests newly developed parts.

      1. I agree about the young drivers part…but wouldn’t it be interesting if teams ultimately didn’t have as much time to test and refine knowledge about these parts…

        Would cutting practice time simply penalize the poorer teams that can’t afford as detailed simulations, or would it even things up by limiting how much more the front-running teams can improve? I remember it being said various times over the past few decades that some of the poorer teams like Minardi were against extra testing because they couldn’t afford it. It’s nuts that what MotoGP allows slower teams to do for the following season may not work in F1 because it becomes too expensive.

        1. @wushumr2, in the case of MotoGP, it is worth noting that it is just factory teams which are allowed to carry out that additional testing, since satellite teams in the MotoGP series don’t really operate in the way that privateer teams operate in F1 (the equivalent in F1 would be a full blown customer team).

          Being a team that has the full backing of a manufacturer behind it, it is unlikely that they are going to have the same sort of financial problems that a privateer team in F1 would have when it comes to testing. It is therefore not really a direct comparison – in F1, it would be the equivalent of allowing just Renault to carry out additional testing, a move that doesn’t really help outfits like Williams, Sauber or Force India, and if anything might make it worse for them.

          It is also worth noting that the satellite and independent teams in MotoGP have been raising a similar complaint to F1’s privateers in recent years, which is that the manufacturer teams had been using their private testing allowance to rent out circuits ahead of races, giving them a bigger advantage. To that end, FIM have, in recent years, been announcing a series of cuts to the amount of testing that the factory teams can do.

          They have already cut back the pre-season tests from three to two tests, and they are now cutting the private testing allowance that the factory teams used to have available to them – all tests now have to be group tests in order to cut costs and to reduce the advantages that the factory teams could gain over the satellite and independent teams. FIM are therefore adopting some measures which are similar to measures we see in F1 because there are similar problems with keeping the cost of testing under control.

          As to the question of whether it benefits or hurts the privateers, that is a little more difficult to answer. Whilst it is true that the larger teams probably do have more time to refine their set ups and therefore gain a bit more of a margin over the privateers, on the flip side the privateers probably do have to rely more heavily on testing new parts in practise sessions as they cannot afford the amount of simulator testing that the manufacturer teams car.

          Equally, whilst costs of running the cars for longer in practise might be a bit higher, at the same time it is questionable how much they would save during the race weekend – research and development costs make up the majority of the costs of the teams, with the cost of running during the race weekend being limited by comparison.

          A shorter race weekend might save some costs, but it is debatable quite how much it would save if a number of staff often have to be at the circuit several days in advance normally – most teams usually have people at a circuit from Wednesday because scruitineering is usually held on a Thursday, and I am not sure that reducing the amount of running time on Friday practise sessions would significantly shorten the overall race weekend.

          Equally, on the flip side the practise sessions do allow the privateer teams to offer those sessions to other drivers, which can give them some additional revenue, so whilst it may incur costs, it also offers opportunities for revenue (the FIA even tweaked the regulations a while ago to make it a bit easier for privateers to sell a seat to independent drivers for the first practise session).

    7. Don’t mess with the format of the weekend too much. Maybe maybe limit the practice sessions, but leave the qualifying and the race alone. Equitable distribution of funds is the key…once that is achieved, most everything else will correct itself.

    8. They have got to make the cars be able to follow each other and make sure each team is properly funded with the prixe money. Those are the major things that need changing.

      The weekend format is actually fine how it is, but actually, I would change it slightly. I’d make each each session an hour longer, and have it in the rules that the younger drivers get this hour. I’d even have them choose their own tires for this time too. Either that, or give the entire Friday session to the reserve driver every weekend.

      If they are going to change the weekend format or scrap sessions or whatever, they might need to reflect the price of this change in the ticket. It’d be madness to potentially go from a 3 day weekend, to a two day weekend and still have to pay the same price.

    9. Two (or more) races per weekend would take the shine off each race. It should be one and only race, and if you make a mistake or whatever, you have to wait 2 weeks for the next try, not just 1 day.

      1. @fer-no65 +1 to you and others echoing a similar sentiment – don’t cheapen the race weekend by putting in multiple races. I love the weekend build-up in the current format, that builds up to the points accrued on Sunday.

    10. I agree with most, that there should be one main event on Sunday.

      I wonder if Ricciardo will have a different feeling about those laps when he’s at Renault and they’re trying to catch up to Merc and Ferrari?

      1. RIC might be having even stronger feelings if Renault are trying to catch up to RBR… Lol.

    11. Reducing the amount of practice available could have pretty disasterous affects on the lesser teams and new drivers. There’s precious little testing allowed now as it is, and if you decrease the amount of practice, new drivers and developing teams will be at an even greater disadvantage. It will just hand an even bigger advantage to the larger, richer and more accomplished teams.

    12. Already they practise in the simulator and pre-season whatever they want. So they really don’t need three sessions each GP. The collected data is only interesting for the teams and has no added value for the spectators. I say one hour to do whatever you want, thats it. Then qualify. Many times one race is boring enough so there is no need for watching that twice.

      1. @pietkoster the data the teams gather during practice may not be interesting to ‘SOME’ fans but a lot of fans actually find that sort of stuff very interesting and useful. you can learn a lot about how a car is handling and other similar things like this by watching practice sessions which is why many fans watch and enjoy the practice sessions.

        i would also point out that practice sessions offer more value for money for the fans who actually pay to goto a race weekend to see f1 race drivers driving f1 cars. and unlike qualifying/race (where you want to sit where you can see a big screen to pay attention to qualifying times/race order etc..) you have time to walk around the track and watch from different corners which add’s a lot to the experience.

        reducing or dropping practice gives less value to spectators, your watching less track action & have less time to get to truly experience the weekend as far as walking around the track to see different vantage points and things.

        i would see little point in attending anything other than sunday with less or none of the practice sessions.

        1. RogerA; Most data disappears in the vast amount of computers in the paddock or at the manufacturers home base. They are to be kept secret. That is why it a disadvantage when designers go the other teams taking the most kept secrets with them. So if even de other teams are not allowed to see the data from eachother, I have no idea how a fan can take a look in it.

          They just see cars running around the track with really not a single piece of info about engine settings, aerodynamics settings, tire combinations or whatever. They really don’t know where that tenth of a second is coming from. If they do they really should contact Ferrari or Mercedes f.i.

          If you want more action during the weekends add more show. Combine things. This site was f1 fanatic and is now race fans. A good example.

    13. I must say i like the F2 format, feature race on saturday and reversed grid on sundays, though I would not take this format for F1. In general for the actuall audience on track FP 1 and 2 can be quite boring, togehter with FP 3 is around 4 hours of on track practise…wich to me, seems a bit much.

      Friday > practice 1 (1.5 H) & 2 (1 H)
      Saturday > quali (1 H, keep this format) + a sprint race in the afternoon (0.5 GP distance)
      Sunday > normal race with reversed grid (GP distance)

      This will put some more pressure on track time on friday, crashes could be repaired in time for saturdays.
      Saturday will be a full day of racing an excitement for the fans.
      Reversed grid on sunday will add much more excitement on racing day

    14. I’m not that interested in practice sessions, I never watch them (except sometimes the YouTube highlights), and I’m not bothered about what they do with them.

      However, if it’s true that less practice would lead to closer races then that sounds good. Realistically I’d guess it would have very little effect, or otherwise do the opposite. Whatever teams save and lose from practice sessions they’ll spend and gain in simulations, more or less proportional to their current budgets. Although as always, bigger teams tend to adapt to changes faster.

      I’m indifferent about having a second race, such as a qualifying race. If they do it I’ll watch, if not I don’t care. What I will say is that if it’s just change for the sake of it then it’s probably not worth it.

      I’m also not in favour of forcing teams to use young drivers on Friday. Teams should be free to use the most suitable drivers

    15. Where’s the poll to express our opinions? One with degrees — agree, strongly disagree,, would rather poke my eyes out, etc.

    16. They’ve already scrapped Sunday’s warm-up sessions and in season tests. Less tests and practice is like development freeze. The fastest will stay fastest and slower ones will have less chance to catch. Look at Macca and Williams desperately trying to understand their cars on Fridays and this is the only opportunity they have now.

      1. They dropped the Sunday Warm-Up in 2003 as there was no point to it anymore.

        They only used to have the warm-up because cars would be stripped & rebuilt after qualifying with fresh engines, gearboxes etc… fitted. They then used the morning warm-up as a way to ensure everything had been re-installed correctly & that the car setup had been put back to the drivers liking.

        When cars were put in parc-ferme after qualifying for 2003 there was no reason to have a sunday warm-up because nothing on the cars will have changed post qualifying so there was no longer a need to check them before going into the race.

    17. I don’t watch a lot of sports these days. F1 only and the occasional Premier league football game. My son (24) is not a big sports fan either He did ask me why F1 is just driving round and round for 2 hours. It’s fair point which may be why they are looking at two shorter races. Not sure I’d have time to tune in for both though since I’m in the habit of 1 long race.

      1. Applying the same logic…..football is just 22 players runnng around and kicking a ball backwards and forwards for 90 minutes why?

        Tennis is just two players hitting a ball over a short net repeatedly sometimes for as long as 4-5 hours why?

        Pick your sport……

    18. It’s “fewer” laps Danny. I still think inverting the grid is a great idea. Just seeing how exciting it is to watch front runners come back from the rear of the grid adds a lot of interest to a race. Maybe this is something they could do without announcing it in a couple of races to start with. If you call it beforehand everyone will try to have the slowest quali time!

      1. Not that I’m in favour of too many changes but… what about Quali remains the same, and the times determine the grid for Sunday, as is… but also have a sprint race on Saturday afternoon WITH the reversed grid – and give points only to the first six, using the old formula of 9; 6; 4; 3; 2; 1… AND fitting new engine parts should still demote cars to the back of the Sprint race as well.

        And, for goodness sake, do NOT give points below 10th place, on Sunday – please.

    19. 2 races a weekend, on street circuits, electric motors… what else :) ? Fan boost!

    20. cant say i see the appeal of dropping or reducing practice as aside from points raised already i would argue less practice = less value for money for those who pay to attend the race weekends.

      for the qualifying session and especially the race you want to be in your grandstand seat paying attention to the big screens and track pa to understand whats going on. but for practice your more able to walk around the track & have a look from different corners and that can really add to the experience.

      also when i attend a race weekend i am paying to see f1 race drivers in f1 cars & i want to experience as much of that as possible so for me reducing practice is doing nothing but giving me less of what i pay to go & see.
      it’s the same with the suggestion of putting test drivers in on fridays, no disrespect to the super talented guys/girls who are test/reserve drivers but there not who i’m attending an f1 race weekend to see, i’m there to see the likes of hamilton, vettel and alonso in f1 cars.

    21. I could support a Saturday race in identically-prepared 250 cc Rotax super-karts. FOM could prepare and bring the equipment.

    22. I still miss Friday Qualification!

    23. Small change which I could welcome is that on Friday two 90-minute sessions would be replaced by three 60-minute sessions with first one reserved for non-race drivers, perhaps with each team fielding one car. After that, race drivers take over for the rest of the weekend, no driver would have disadvantage of missing one FP session due to giving up the car.

    24. I’ve actually been surprised at the number of laps done during practice session no this year (pleasantly surprised) because I thought teams would be protecting their PU’s and limiting their mileage.

      That actually suggests that they haven’t been all that easy to optimise this year.

      Practice sessions are actually something I do watch – it’s where we see new parts get tested, new drivers testing and even top drivers make mistakes while exploring the limits of their cars. I definitely don’t want those sessions removed.

      As for the race format – sorry Dan, I’m a huge fan (being from Perth) but I can’t agree with you.

    25. Drop FP3 and to make something more meaningful or at least amusing for the fans, adopt that time trial thing that WTCC did the last few years.
      Each engine make nominates 3 cars; two or three laps from standing start, clock stops when 3rd driver finishes. Hyper soft tyres for all, even if its not available for the race!

    26. YellowSubmarine
      12th August 2018, 21:53

      Two races per weekend – nice. Hope the timings are not identical, make it a night race and a daytime race every weekend…so those far outside European time zones can also get a chance to watch the races live on TV!

    27. Every aspect of these bleeding edge cars must be scrutinized and optimized. That’s what practice is for. Without it you risk making mistakes, and the result will be tons of accidents every weekend. Very dangerous accidents. You’d also end up with your basic demolition derby. Growing up in the southern U.S. I remember a great many NASCAR fans who said the only reason they watched the races was to see accidents. To each his own, but that’s not why I fell in love with F1. Please leave the P.T. Barnum stuff outside the F1 tent. However, if the new owners can’t resists the urge to clown around I fully support Ferrari’s threat to break away and start another series for the grown-ups.

    28. The amount of practice isn’t a big deal for me. It’s fun to watch when i can, what someone commented about Martin Brundle talking about the corners is true, but usually, I don’t have the time to watch all the ones that get broadcast. Practice is really more for the teams and drivers. The idea of a night race and a day race the next day is intriguing but would that mean fewer overall race weekends or would they keep the calendar the same length? I like the long race season. As far as the racing itself goes, I think if they can make the race itself more engaging they’d be best off. What if they gave points all the way down to 19th place? Either allow DRS all the time or drop it all together? And what if the engines and gearboxes were less complicated? I know this is supposed to be the top end of the sport – but the silly grid penalties that occur because of engine and gearbox issues makes me think F1 is childish. Super complicated, only big money can succeed, everyone else gets penalized when their stuff break downs. It takes 6 months to build brake discs – that’s high tech but incredibly expensive and wasteful in my opinion. What if it were simpler and more teams were able to buy in? Run it like the premier league – the bottom two teams get dropped to F2 and the top F2 teams get brought up. And the issues with gas and tyres is boring. Maybe the races are too long. Too many races are about preserving the tires and saving gas until the last 5 or 10 laps when the drivers are finally told that they can race.

    Comments are closed.