Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2023

Should F1 switch to a single practice session for all grand prix weekends?

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During the days when Michael Schumacher and Ferrari held a vice-like grip over the top step of the podium, Formula 1 drivers not only enjoyed near-unlimited testing but four individual practice sessions during a grand prix weekend – as well as a 30 minute pre-race warm up.

In total, drivers received two hours of practice on Fridays, two 45 minute practice sessions on Saturdays ahead of qualifying and 30 minutes of pre-race running before the race itself for a total of four hours of uncompetitive track time to help learn circuits, tune their set ups and test out parts.

Over the next two decades, the format of race weekends have changed but the four hours of total practice time remained. Instead, drivers would get two 90-minute sessions on a Friday followed by a single hour-long practice before qualifying. That was still more than three hours more practice time than Formula 2 drivers would get before qualifying – and still do – despite Formula 1’s drivers being considered as the most elite on the planet.

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri, Spa-Francorchamps, 2023
Just a single practice is held on sprint weekends
Then, in 2020, Formula 1 decided to experiment at Imola with a compressed two-day weekend format where teams and drivers were given just a single 90-minute practice session before being thrown into qualifying and then the race. The next season, 30 minutes were chopped off both Friday practice sessions which reduced total preparation time to three hours. And with the introduction of sprint races later that year, drivers now regularly get just a single hour of practice before Friday qualifying and then two competitive sessions on Saturdays before Sunday’s grand prix.

Recently, practice time has become a topic of discussion again with the testing of the Alternative Tyre Allocation format at the Hungaroring. Reducing each driver’s dry tyre sets from 13 for a grand prix weekend to 11 led many to complain that they would be incentivised not to run during practice sessions in order to save tyres. But there are also those who feel reducing practice time over weekends would benefit the sport by challenging drivers and creating more excitement.

So is it time for Formula 1 to consider making just a single practice session the new normal?


Many drivers, including Mercedes’ George Russell, feel just a single one-hour practice session is ample for the supposed best drivers in the world. “I don’t think it’s right that Formula 1 has three times the amount of practice that you have in a F3 and F2 categories,” he said in Melbourne. “They should be the ones getting more practice also because they’re doing less races, they don’t get to test that often.”

There’s also the fact that less practice time means less opportunity for teams to hone car set ups and for drivers to get dialled into a circuit. That, naturally, puts drivers under greater pressure when it counts and leads to a higher chance of mistakes or top teams making the wrong choices on set ups and opening opportunities for teams lower down.

That all should make for less predictable and more exciting races as well as meaning that the drivers themselves can make more of a difference to their final finishing positions out on track.


Reducing uncompetitive track time during grand prix weekends may add more uncertainty heading into qualifying and races, but it also reduces the amount of time that fans get to enjoy seeing their heroes on track on Fridays and Saturdays.

With ticket prices to attend races as high as they’ve ever been thanks to F1’s boom in popularity and inflation, reducing value for money for fans is not likely to be popular with punters paying to watch live or with race promoters who have to sell those tickets.

Reducing practice sessions also puts rookie drivers at a significant disadvantage compared to veterans in an era where testing outside of race weekends is more restricted than it’s ever been before. It also denies the opportunity for teams to gather vital data on upgrades and parts which could lead to very conservative development plans under the current budget cap regulations, resulting in more static performance levels in the field over a season.

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I say

Does Formula 1 need three hour-long practice sessions? No, almost certainly not. However, that does not necessarily mean that the sport should do away with the three free practice format.

Rookies get limited track time as it is
Moving to a three hour system in 2021 was clearly a good move in hindsight and it’s true that predictability increases with practice time, but it does feel like younger drivers would suffer from the combination of only three days of pre-season testing with only a single hour of practice before heading into qualifying and a race. Especially when thinking back to the thousands of kilometres of testing Lewis Hamilton was given before he stepped off the plane in Melbourne for his grand prix debut in 2007.

But the biggest reason to be concerned about a single practice session is that doing so would feel like opening the door to the proliferation of sprint races across the whole calendar. Currently, single practice sessions during sprint race weekends allow for qualifying to be held on Friday evenings before sprint qualifying and the sprint race on Saturday before the grand prix on Sunday. Going down to a single practice session would either lead to two-day grand prix weekends, or, to justify keeping a three day weekend, see calls for every round to become a sprint race weekend.

That may appeal to many within the sport and even some reading this, but alongside Max Verstappen and the many others who would prefer for the grand prix to remain the special event that it is, hopefully the current weekend format remains for the foreseeable future.

You say

Do you agree that F1 should reduce practice sessions and have just a single hour-long session every grand prix weekend?

Do you agree that F1 should switch to a single one-hour practice session for all rounds?

  • No opinion (1%)
  • Strongly disagree (57%)
  • Slightly disagree (21%)
  • Neither agree nor disagree (3%)
  • Slightly agree (7%)
  • Strongly agree (11%)

Total Voters: 145

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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80 comments on “Should F1 switch to a single practice session for all grand prix weekends?”

  1. Coventry Climax
    13th August 2023, 12:15

    Haha, by the timeI read this and comment: 100% strongly disagree – Total voters: 1

    I’m sure that % will change, but by how much?

    OK, it’s downright silly that there’s a difference over different weekends in the first place. But that’s caused by the FIA. All weekends used to be of the same value, points wise. With certain weekends being silly sprint thingies, that’s messed up now. That, in my view, is more unfair and actually needs repairing, as opposed to the practice time ‘problem’, which in itself is not a real problem at all, but just designated as such by that same FIA.
    Again and again, the FIA come up with remedies for issues they themselves first -unneccessarily- create.

    Switch to one hour practice on all weekends? That’s quite a one-side question, with it being 3 hours at some 1 at other circuits. No option to go for averaging that, e.g. Might be people would agree on bringing it down a bit, but so rigorously, in one go?
    Would the answerto this poll matter to the FIA or LM? I doubt it – unfortunately.

    1. All weekends used to be of the same value, points wise. With certain weekends being silly sprint thingies, that’s messed up now.

      They can cure the mess by making the short thingie a “potential F1 driver” event.
      That way next year’s rookies aren’t total noobs in an F1 car since they will have driven an older car in a competitive format multiple, possibly 24, times.
      I think the idea would be popular with fans, so F1/FIA would bury it.

      1. They can cure the mess by making the short thingie a “potential F1 driver” event.

        An afterthought:
        Make the short thingie with the potential F1 drivers a free-to-air thing. Surely LM can see the sales benefit in that.

      2. I think the idea would be popular with fans, so F1/FIA would bury it.

        Yeah, it would be so popular that the idea never even got off the ground.
        People go to F1 races (and watch TV) for F1 cars and F1 drivers putting it all on the line in competition – not to watch relative nobodies drive around in someone else’s old car.
        If it was an additional session, maybe – but not as a replacement for the real thing.

      3. Endless practice results in much more boring racing and favors less talented drivers. I always noticed how drivers like Alonso started off with a huge time gap to Ocon in practice sessions, but after endless laps and more importantly, access to his data, he would get much closer. You saw the true gap in places like Canada when wet conditions for the first time in qualifying meant a reset and Alonso qualified second while Ocon failed to even make Q3. Predictably though, Alonso’s car got sick again in the GP.

        It also gives teams way too much time to perfect setups and tire sims (except Ferrari of course).

        I agree 100% though. It’d be great to have prospects get seat time so the fans can see the cars.

    2. I am 100% against all races only 1 pratice because the other option will be all sprint races and i don’t think that is the way.

  2. Strongly agree, why not?
    More ‘competitive’ sessions over non-competitive ones & I fail to see how spectators would get to see less track action with a single practice session even though the total session amount is five either way, so in this regard, as much, so three FPs-QLF-race versus FP-QLF-SQ-sprint-race, zero difference regarding the above aspect.

    1. Unfortunately the @jerejj AI bot is still in beta test, and the coherent reply functionality hasn’t been enabled yet, let alone tested

      1. You came up with something new or different for a change.

        1. Coventry Climx
          13th August 2023, 18:34

          I don’t know what your ‘feud’ is about, guys, but I feel Simon’s reply is quite funny – and harmless.

          But I’ll re-phrase his comment: @jerejj, can you please say that again, in plain english, as I have no real clue what it is exaxctly that you mean.

          1. I don’t know either because I never did anything to give S a reason to start picking up on me.
            As for my original post, what’s hard to understand?
            I don’t really know how I could explain my point in any simpler way.
            Anyone with proper English understanding should be able to comprehend that accurately.

          2. Coventry Climax
            13th August 2023, 23:42

            @jerejj: Reading your reply a couple more times, I think you meant to say that the total amount of time spectators get to see on-track action, does not change if non-competitive track time is exchanged for competitive track time.

            Even shorter, it’s just the nature of what the spectators get to see that changes, not the total amount of time.

            (See, it’s perfectly possible to say it more clear, even if english is not my native language. And say it in less words too, even if that is not generally my strength ;-) )

            Anyway, while that in itself is true, when a 1:1 exchange, that puts the emphasis on the change in ‘nature’ of what we get to see. I’d say that nature changes to overkill and diminished quality.
            Overkill because I feel a race weekend should be a build up to the Grand Prix on sunday, instead of a series of small prix’ over a coupleof days.
            Quality because in none of the small prix parts, do you get to see cars and drivers optimally prepared for the racing events they are to partake in.

            Watching two qualifications in a row, for the last sprint thingie weekend, was confusing and too much. It didn’t add a thing, as far as I’m concerned. Watching two races didn’t add a thing either. Isn’t a Grand Prix (single) supposed to be one thing, more specifically the one thing?

          3. I never did anything to give S a reason to start picking up on me.

            I think you mean Simon, @jerejj.
            I am not Simon, and Simon is not me.

      2. S – True, I meant to type Simon but messed up & mixed up.

  3. Would it stop Verstappen and Red Bull? No. And bad setups are wrecking too many drivers’ weekends already thanks to sprints, parc fermé, wacky tyre qualifying and so on.
    They’ll have to come up with something else – I dread to think what – they eventually stopped Schumacher by banning tyre stops…

    1. Coventry Climax
      13th August 2023, 18:48

      They’ll have to come up with something else

      Why? What was so terribly wrong that it needed a bad repairing such that they now need to repair the repair?

      People going to a circuit for an affordable price, to watch the F1 cars and drivers they love doing a no points session, practicing and trying to find a setup for the one, real event of the weekend?
      Sure, that’s a real bad situation. ‘Affordable price’; we can’t have that, sounds very, very bad.

      Drivers and teams trying to not waste their budgets by parking it into a race ending spot on lap one or two, or mess up their potential pace over a race, throwing away points and prize money with missed opportunities?
      We can’t have that, we would rather see ‘unexpected’ things (nothing unexpected about it in my view, if you don’t practice) than cars and drivers race at their full potential.

  4. With so many variables – Weather,breakdowns,accidents etc etc – I would say 2 sessions at least but by all means reduce them to 30/45 minutes.

    1. Yeah, that feels right to me too @nullapax; leaving only one session means that the teams that are best sorted are likely to do well, with others having less chance for a good weekend. Which probably leaves Red Bull untouched, might help Mercedes (if the change to adapt to that new reality), will make Ferrari wildly unpredictable (but they already manage to find ways to good so no need), and will make others less competitive. And all that while reducing chances for fans to see the cars on track, which doesn’t feel like a positive development either.

    2. Agree with two sessions @nullapax
      Not sure about the shorter timing though.

  5. But the biggest reason to be concerned about a single practice session is that doing so would feel like opening the door to the proliferation of sprint races across the whole calendar.


    1. Coventry Climax
      13th August 2023, 19:19

      That’s not a concern, it’s the real reason behind all this unravelled.

    2. Well spectators at Las Vegas might not be happy with a single session, as there are no support races. Let’s see, $2500 for a grandstand ticket works out to about $800/hour viewing cost. Add in a hotel room for the weekend at $3000 ± and a significant other and you’re at $8000, $2700/hour. Oh, forgot plane tickets….

      Might as well fly to Europe and see a real race – it would be cheaper and you could have a nice holiday.

      1. Coventry Climax
        16th August 2023, 1:36

        Of course they’d be happy: They get more time to sit and have a drink at a fake marina or beach or such, get more time to dance to some or other famous DJ and I’m sure there’s a bundle more amusement.

      2. Nice hotel room you got there

  6. Should F1 switch to a single practice session for all grand prix weekends?

    F1 practices far too much and competes too little, in terms of balance between the two.

    “But they don’t get enough real-world practice time” some people complain.
    Well, yes they do – their computer simulation tools now run 24/7, including with real drivers in the loop – and the accuracy they provide is very nearly as good as the real world in some ways, and a lot better than the real world in other ways.
    I’d totally support 3 practice sessions at each event if they banned all computer simulations – but the teams aren’t keen on that idea. They’d rather spend their time ogling computer screens because it’s much cheaper and more time-efficient, and there’s no damage done when something doesn’t work out properly.

    1. Actually, the bottom line for me is this:
      Would I rather see a race car/driver pootling around collecting data, or would I prefer to see them battling with all the others in a competition?
      The answer is obvious to me – and should be to everyone else, I would hope.

      Unless you don’t like competition (admittedly, not F1’s strongest sales point).
      I don’t see the problem with sprints, either – they will always be no worse than the practice sessions they replace, and may well be significantly better.
      Always worth remembering that nobody is forcing anyone to watch every session. If you only want to watch practice, qualifying and GP, then you can always restrict yourself to just that.

      With so many people complaining that there is too much F1 these days, surely this should satisfy them…

      1. Coventry Climax
        13th August 2023, 19:04

        Would I rather see a race car/driver pootling around collecting data, or would I prefer to see them battling with all the others in a competition?

        Poor soul, for being forced to watch the things you’re not interested in. Most of us however have partners that allow us to do something else if we want to.
        Just because of your poor situation that doesn’t mean we all have to suffer, do we?

        The ‘data gathering’ is so that they can race at their maximum potential, and that’s the part you apparently aren’t forced to watch, but show an interested in. Can’t imagine why. If they don’t do the data gathering, you get to watch a battle with compromised armour, as they could have gone faster, or longer or better, or whatever.
        We’d get to (and actually already do) watch handicap races. Wow. Now that’s what F1 and competition is all about, isn’t it?

        Just convince your partner to not force you to watch please, and leave it be.

        1. Just because of your poor situation that doesn’t mean we all have to suffer, do we?

          That’s really interesting coming from someone who usually comes here to complain about every little change F1 proposes, and how everything was so much better in the past (especially things that weren’t).
          This coin has two sides, doesn’t it? Those who don’t like the change could also just suck it up. F1 can’t please everyone completely – but they do aim to be appealing to the largest number of people possible.

          I still fail to understand who, including race engineers, would rather a non-competitive session than a competitive one.
          Every race engineer and driver knows full well that data gathered in competition is far more effective and accurate than data from practice sessions – and 99% of viewers also prefer competitive sessions to practice sessions.
          Nice to have another discussion again, Mr 1%…

    2. Since when are computer simulations the same thing as testing….

      Every season there is talk about correlation issues.

      The option isn’t competitive tracktime vs uncompetitive tracktime, it’s less tracktime vs more tracktime.

      As someone that visits tracks, enjoys making pictures and isn’t a simple consumer that only sits on a chair, more track time is very important to be able to appreciate both the track and the cars.
      Friday practices when the track isn’t completely packed with people is off the utmost importance.
      And for me and people with for example autism or other social anxieties or psychological problems it is what keeps the sport accessible.

      1. Since when are computer simulations the same thing as testing….

        Ever seen a simulator? Not a games machine – an actual simulator?
        They have now reached the point where they are as good as, if not better than, reality for most testing purposes.
        Correlation issues typically come from wind tunnel testing – which is the real world.

        The option isn’t competitive tracktime vs uncompetitive tracktime, it’s less tracktime vs more tracktime.

        It’s absolutely the first option – if they are going to continue running three day events, then there will be roughly the same amount of track time. The question being asked is always competitive vs non-competitive use of that time.
        Only if they reduced events to two days (which they won’t, because that means less money for promoters and Liberty) would actual track time be reduced.

        You’ll still have your Friday practice with fewer people about. There will always be fewer people on practice day, even if there is also a qualifying session or a sprint race to go with that – not least of all because it is a week day/work day.
        Even at reduced ticket prices it is far less attractive to most people who want to go, because competition is when the vast majority of the action happens.

        1. Coventry Climax
          13th August 2023, 19:30

          You have a completely warped idea about simulation.
          It’s still driver input that’s a big part of the final setup.

          I think Mercedes, for example, have pretty modern facilities, and a decent simulation budget.
          Boy, did they get it wrong, and for the second year in a row.

          Then there’s this: Even if it were so, and it could all be done by computer, where’s the fun of it? Why have real living drivers then? Why not send the cars around the track remote controlled, based on the simulation? Or with a robot driver?
          It’s still actual people doing it, because that’s what sport is about; competition by people. People that train and practice, in order to improve their level.

          1. Then there’s this: Even if it were so, and it could all be done by computer, where’s the fun of it?

            But they are doing it on computers now. They have been for decades already, increasingly so every year. You do realise this, don’t you?
            Teams are willingly accepting reductions in real-world testing because they no longer need it and know that they aren’t making money out of it, and so prefer to do virtual testing instead and use real-world track time for attracting the maximum number of eyeballs to their mobile billboards in competitive sessions that people actually want to see.
            Your beef is with the teams who are supporting this method of working and developing, not with me.

        2. Have you actually watched the groundeffect era?
          There is 1 team that understands it, and 9 teams that haven’t gotten a clue, inspite of all their simulations…
          Former recordbreaking team Mercedes that says according to the computer and simulations they have a top car, yet 18 months and 3 concepts later they still haven’t gotten a clue whatsoever on how it works.

          Simulations are only as good as the data you put in, and without good data you simply cannot make good simulations.

          No windtunnels aren’t real world, its a controlled environment an abstract model that has to simulate the real world. And within that abstract model there are alot of constraints.

          As for the practice and tracktime, it’s clear you don’t understand it and don’t want to understand it, if not for the simple math that 2h of practice and 30min of SQ + 30mins of SR isn’t the same amount of tracktime.

          1. Have you actually watched the groundeffect era?

            Yes, both of them. You?

            There is 1 team that understands it, and 9 teams that haven’t gotten a clue, inspite of all their simulations…

            That’s largely true of every variable in F1. Ferrari still can’t get on top of their strategy, for example. Haas still can’t develop a car through a season, and Sauber are still relatively poor.
            These aspects are constants – some will always do better than others, no matter what or how many variables and testing processes are available.
            Actually, when we look back, more testing (unlimited) in the past just lead to even wider performance gaps…

            The fact remains that it would be the same situation for every competitor – those who make the best of it will get the best out of it. The quantity of practice does not change this fact.

            And finally, 30 minutes of race time is still better than any quantity of practice from a ‘normal’ viewer’s perspective. Perhaps historical data of ticket sales gives somewhat of a clue as to what type of session most people prefer…?
            Practices typically on Fridays – low sales even at reduced prices. Races on Sundays – sell out crowds at maximum prices…

  7. Like so many proposals currently it favours top teams. Similarly the engine equalisation favours RedBull as we are in an era of aero not engine.

    1. Indeed, fewer real driving is nice when you show up to the track with everything 99% dialed in. And all the more so as it prohibits those who might only get to 95% with their fancy sims from finding that extra performance whilst out on track and experimenting with their setup (which takes time to adjust).

      But free practise doesn’t make the races boring. Nobody complained there was too much free practise in 2012 or 2021. This isn’t the problem. 8 teams being uncompetitive is the problem.

      Fridays are also great for locals visiting. You don’t have to fork over a ton of money for a race ticket, but can just hop over, watch a few hours of F1 cars, and then watch the race on TV where it’s a much better experience anyway; at least in terms of actually following the race as it unfolds.

  8. “Does Formula 1 need three hour-long practice sessions?”

    It differs between perspectives I think; for us viewers, if the alternative would be no running, then yes, please give us viewers/spectators practise sessions to watch the cars. For the drivers themselves, probably not needed (since they are the best of the best anyway).

  9. I think it’s about time to make the F1 race weekend, just that. 2 days of racing. On Saturday Practice and Qualifying on Sunday the Race. No sprint race no-sense. If F1 is really serious about Net Zero Carbon it might need one day less of racing one day less of public traveling to the circuit, paddock emission, catering etc.

    1. Saturday practice, Quali, Sunday morning practice, Race. Anyone free to change setups anytime. No work on cars allowed on Saturday evening/night.

  10. Strongly “AGAINST”.
    F1 is not about drivers and it’s not about drivers being prepared are not. F1 is about the engineers preparing the right car set-ups for the drivers and either giving them or not giving them a car that is up to its capabilities.
    Having only 1 practice session would only amplify the differences between rich and poor teams.

    1. Well said.

  11. For me is a simple “Strongly disagree”. F1 practise sessions is not only to show who can setup the car faster but it has safety concerns also. A bad setup because of 1 session with intermediate weather can be dangerous in a sunny Sunday if a team got it wrong.
    Another factor is that many teams trying to catch RB and change a ton of things in their cars which in conjunction alters the setup of the car as they knew it till then. This teams need triple the time to see, 1st if they got it right (correlation issues), 2nd how to setup the new beast and final a 3nd problem which is the drivers that must adapt to any driving alterings they will need to do to get the best result of the new car.

    For all the above i strongly disagree and no matter if liberty will like springlers on track (a thing we joked about many times), personally for me in F1 the best combo of car/strategy/driver must win and not the luckiest one.

  12. The more the better. I think ticket owners should have guaranteed 3 hours of F1 action every day. That is, 2x 90 min practice on Friday. 2×60 min practice + 60 min qualifying on Saturday. Then 60 minute Warm-up + 120 minute race on Sunday. Also red flag should always stop the clock (if necessary, support series schedule can be moved to start later).

    At the moment, in Sprint weekends there’s miserable amount of F1 action: 60 min FP + 60 min qualifying on Friday. 45 min sprint shootout and 30 min sprint race on Saturday. 90 minute race on Sunday. Add red-flags and safety-car periods and there’s barely 4 hours of F1 action for 3 days. That’s a rip-off.

    1. That many sessions would be excessive & stopping the clock during race interruptions would risk time running out for finishing full distance in some locations.

      1. Coventry Climax
        14th August 2023, 0:02

        That would be excessive, you say. For whom? Apparently for you, but not for me.
        Like I reminded S, you’re not obliged to watch the parts you don’t like. Most people don’t watch the practice sessions of sports, F1 is an exception to that rule. Yet even so, they were never intended to be watched, let alone bring championship points.
        The other way round though, changing more sessions into competitive sessions, does force people to watch everything, if they are keen on following what goes on in the championships (plural).
        There’s too much fake going on already, so I’m certainly not going to watch everything if things go that way. As a result I will feel less connected to the championship, and will likely start to watch even less still, as it’s not all that important anymore.
        I think it will result in more fans becoming the occasional watcher, instead of fervent followers of the championships. Like Steiner suggested, you’ll get people just watching the night races, or the F1 Light sprint thingies, or just the street circuits.

        As for running out of time, that would just be a matter of starting timely.

  13. It says enough that the “for” argument is nothing more than a whataboutism.

    A sport without practice and testing isn’t a sport, it’s a gameshow.

  14. The argument that less practice would lead to more unpredictability is a nonsense one as teams would pretty quickly adapt there race weekend programs to get everything they need to get in whatever limited practice running they have. We saw that at Imola in 2020 when there was just a single 90 minute session & it made no difference to the competitive order or how the race played out at all.

    The only times teams losing practice running affects there weekend is if it’s unplanned & the run program they went into the weekend with gets unexpectedly cut short & they don’t have time to adjust it so don’t get the data they planned to.

    The only thing further reducing practice does is take track time away from young drivers (Who in the era of no testing are already judged far too quickly than the past) as well as fans who are paying to see F1 drivers in F1 cars on track be it via buying tickets to attend the race weekend or a TV subscription.

    I’ve said before that as a fan who loves attending races that the Friday practice sessions are by far the most enjoyable due to been able to walk around the track and watch the cars from different locations where you get to see & appreciate all the various elements of how they perform. Having less practice that doesn’t give time to be able to do that simply makes attending a race weekend significantly less worthwhile as your basically paying to see less track action as well as having less/no time to do something many of us Friday attendees actually really enjoy doing. Reducing practice track time any further would just be the end of me attending F1 races.

    Not every session needs to be competitive. Practice is great as a more laid back thing where you can just sit back, watch, analyse & appreciate the cars. Something I actually hate about the sprint weekends is that FP1 is so manic that there’s no time to really watch or take anything in, No time to really study the cars or really see where each is working better than another. I love doing that over the Friday sessions, Just watching & analysing to see how the cars are handling & how different drivers are tacking different corners with no real pressure in terms of having to study times etc..

    I may not like that Indycar is so spec with the chassis now & overall less of a spectacle compared to the amazing CART era of the 80s/90s/early 00s (Those cars were simply incredible 900bhp beasts) but the thing I do really enjoy about that series is how many opportunities & how much time fans get to watch the cars as not only do they still have fairly regular testing thats cheap to attend (Sometimes free) but they also have a lot of track time over a race weekend.

  15. The thing that i find interesting is how little modern F1 drivers seem to actually want to drive the cars as they seem more in favour of less testing & practice time than not only F1 drivers in the past were but also compared to drivers in any other category i’ve followed over the years.

    Is it that current F1 drivers have a completely different mentality & would rather be sitting at home playing video games or sitting on the beach or that modern F1 cars are just really horrid to drive I wonder?

    1. Or perhaps that they’d rather be racing than driving around off the pace collecting data…?
      It says a lot about how challenging and rewarding the F1 cars of today are (or aren’t, more to the point) to drive, doesn’t it.

      Remember that drivers in other series and even in F1 of past decades didn’t do so much of that monotonous data collection, as there simply wasn’t so much data to collect or tools to collect it with.
      The driver told the engineers what the car was doing and how to improve it – not the other way around….
      Driving the car around in practice has become a secondary concern now.

  16. Practise is not for me, I’m a viewer. It’s for the drivers to learn the track, find their setup, try things, and for the teams to do their own tests and whatever it is they do. It’s meant to be a part of their jobs, something they need, like they have training and practise sessions in all other sports. Do they need as many as they have? Could they do with less, should they get more? I’ve no idea! Should I have an opinion? Of course I shouldn’t. If the question is do I want to watch many practise sessions, the answer is no. But dang, you shouldn’t monetize every aspect of the sport. Training shouldn’t be about me, about a viewer aka milking goat. I don’t think Liberty should have any say in this either. Actually, it’s quite scandalous that they do.

  17. Less practice means less chance for someone to find something across a weekend which gives us a variation in result.

    With one practice session whoever rolls off the truck with the best set up wins the race.

    I would rather see extra practice between Qualifying and the Race, (they could call it the Sunday Morning Warmup for example) and lift parc ferme rules to allow some genuine variation between sessions.

  18. I am no longer buying any tickets if they switch to one hour practice session for the entire weekend.

  19. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
    13th August 2023, 16:07

    Spa was a prime example of how weather plays a big part and parc ferme in effect ruins it for some teams.

    It was very clear how McLaren got stuck. MB didn’t get a chance to alter the setup to perhaps limit the amount of bouncing.

    If there is only a single testing session then I think there needs to be a change to what can and cannot be done in parc ferme.

    1. Yes, I’m for the 1 practice, but your last sentence makes sense in terms of allowing more changes.

  20. I am not aware of any competitive sport where less training leads to better results. From any activity it is known “practice makes perfect”.

    If F1 fans don’t want to see perfection, then don’t call it a sport. Organize it just like neighborhood soccer or baseball pickup games.

    Statements that they can do with less practice is only true for the current set of top drivers because they are already very good. And they got that by doing a lot of practicing.

    For me as a fan, I have been to several F1 races in Austin, and one in Miami; plus several more Indycar, and practice sessions belong in a weekend. I rather see three practices than the sprint race format. I am not a fan of the unpredictability that no or limited practice brings.

  21. I voted strongly disagree… but had the question been MOST races have a single practice session then I’d strongly agree, as I love the sprint weekends,

    Reason being races such as Monaco would be pointless to hold, and teams also need some weekends to hold testing sessions

    Otherwise the single session is good enough for me. Only concern is those with better simulation tools would hold a big advantage, so CAPEX budget should increase for teams that are behind in technology

  22. Suffering Williams Fan
    13th August 2023, 17:37

    How about reducing practice time for the race drivers and allocating a testing session for reserve/junior drivers? One session for the race drivers, one for the reserves, and you probably could make it all fit in two days. There’ll be some logistical issues to address according to these drivers other racing responsibilities, but this seems like a solvable problem. Fans still get track time, junior drivers get experience, teams get testing.

    1. This is also a good idea, so junior drivers get some more experience, which they seem to need more of, than the amount they get given in a driver role.

    2. No disrespect to the younger drivers but when i go to an F1 weekend I’m there to watch the race drivers so want to see them on track as much as possible.

      I remember in 2005 when they had the 3rd drivers on Fridays and the race drivers subsequently hardly did any laps. It was so dull seeing so few cars going round and not been able to see the drivers I’d paid to see was always frustrating.

      The race drivers should be on track all 3 days with plenty of running as thats what we are paying to watch.

    3. Coventry Climax
      13th August 2023, 19:11

      So then the ‘official race drivers’ get to race with a setup that’s not theirs, not the result of their own findings?
      Great idea, yet another aspect of F1 down the drain.

  23. Two practice sessions – one on Friday, one on Saturday.
    Could be 90 minute session on Friday, 1 hour on Saturday.
    Weather might change one day or the other. Conditions could change for each car, engine, wrecks, strategies, drivers, etc.

    One session is not helpful when conditions can affect some teams, or maybe all teams at times.
    Two sessions split over two days makes more sense.

    1. This sounds like a sensible option.

  24. Only way I would agree with this proposal is if they remove Parc ferme thus opening up teams being able to take a gamble on differing qualifying and race setups. Simply removing practice sessions will just favour teams who luck into a easy to setup car and the richest teams running sims at their factory all weekend.

  25. Strongly disagree.

    F1 should stop dumbing everything down. Not everything needs to be a race to be interesting. Practice sessions have their place in the structure of the weekend. They are both interesting for the really hardcore fans, while also providing an accessible way for people to see cars on track if they cannot afford to attend the race weekend.

    For example, Friday practice in Melbourne is quite well attended, particularly by school groups. Because a Friday-only ticket is a fraction of the cost of a weekend pass.

    What they could do, however, is mandate that the third driver must drive both Friday sessions, and the regular drivers must drive one session on Friday.

    That way, the third drivers get seat time (where they are expected to assist in setup and there are consequences for binning it). It gives teams a chance to assess rookies, a pathway for drivers in lower formulae to prove themselves in F1, and a chance for fans to get to know upcoming talent.

    The regular drivers do get reduced running (although they still have a session in the car so that fans gets to see their favourite driver). It creates an additional strategy element about which order to run their main drivers in these sessions, and how to split the setup duties to achieve the best result.

    1. This is one of the better ideas as to how third drivers can be incorporated. It’s easy to understand, ensures fans get the chance to see all drivers, and gives teams some choice.

      1. However, it still suffers from the same no-deal factor, in that people aren’t paying and turning up to the track (or watching on TV) to see people they don’t know or care about in someone else’s car, and will only be seeing the actual F1 drivers for part of one 1-hour practice session each – and not even all at the same time.
        I know many potential spectators would never even consider buying a Friday ticket if the main drivers were only going to be on track for a typically small portion of a one hour practice session. I’d bet it would negatively impact Friday viewing figures on TV too – and given that Liberty in particular are trying to raise Friday’s profile, I don’t see how such a proposal would ever be in favour of those making the decisions.

        1. Coventry Climax
          14th August 2023, 12:21

          I know many potential spectators would never even consider ..

          I seriously doubt you even know ‘many’ spectators at all, potential or not, let alone what goes through their minds before deciding to go watch an F1 race or not.
          For this to have any statistical merit at all, we’d be talking about a couple hundreds, minimum.

          1. You seem to have a real problem with people who don’t share your (somewhat old-fashioned) opinions.
            Thank you for your blind judgements about my (real-world) social connections, comically incorrect though they are.

            You’re right about one thing, though. I don’t know as many people who follow F1 as I used to, because most of them have accepted that it has changed and isn’t for them anymore. They now engage with other series instead (Indycar is a favourite) and are much more content for making the switch.
            Those who do still watch F1 don’t ever bring it up in conversation, because it really isn’t that important or interesting to talk about. Other series often come up, though (again, Indycar is a favourite).

            And it’s funny that you poo-poo my comment, and yet often put your own across about what people supposedly want to see in F1 and what changes they should make (revert to). Given F1’s direction over time, I can only surmise that the suggestions you present are probably shared by fewer people in the wider viewing audience and F1 management than the ones I have put forward, on balance….

  26. Tim (@tsgoodchild)
    14th August 2023, 9:10

    I certainly prefer fewer practice sessions and like to see drivers go into quali with a setup that hasn’t been perfected. However maybe a compromise would be good to give some advantage to the slower teams…

    FP1 Early Afternoon: (90 mins) for all teams. Late Afternoon: Fanzone day, driver interactions akin to Silverstone on a Thursday.

    FP2 (60 mins) for the 5 teams ranked lowest in the championship currently. Could changed through the year.

    Morning Practice (30 mins): All teams. No parc ferme rules.

  27. Forgive my ignorance, but why is it a rule that car setup cannot be changed after practice? Is there a problem if cars change setup after say Q1 or after Q3? Or even during race during a red flag period?

    If we do away with that rule, then a single practice session is enough, right?

    1. Forgive my ignorance, but why is it a rule that car setup cannot be changed after practice?

      Why not? A lot of F1’s rules don’t make a lot of sense, but they stay there primarily because that’s how things were done before and we don’t like change.
      There are certainly valid justifications for keeping it in place, though.
      Regardless, it’s the same situation for everyone, and they all know how to manage it in the way that works best for them.

      Is there a problem if cars change setup after say Q1 or after Q3? Or even during race during a red flag period?

      Well, yes, there is – because it’s against the rules.

      If we do away with that rule, then a single practice session is enough, right?

      A single practice session is enough now, without changing any rules.
      The teams don’t need more data. The drivers don’t need more time in unrepresentative conditions (driving around alone, off the pace, collecting data) – and spectators are bored with excessive practice sessions when that time could be used for something more meaningful.
      Just use the time for more racing – that’s the best data and driving they can get, and it works out pretty well for the audience too.

  28. What a Stupid Question… STOP THE SPRINT NONSENSE…

  29. The simple answer is “no”.

  30. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Not an attitude F1 is very good at.

    I would leave testing as it is or maybe reduce it to say a 90 minute session on Friday and an hour session on Saturday. So a small reduction.

    I would also like to see another testing session only, in the middle of the season. A non-race weekend I mean. I think it would give the teams a chance to test new parts and set-ups. It might help to make the racing closer. I realise there is probably not enough time in the calendar to allow this now.

  31. If this would be their best idea for cost saving, and right now we would look at a car-game’s screen, a text would flash, saying : “Wrong way”.
    Otherwise, these cars are super reliable, so I see no drama, they will not break down on track much more often due to the lack of testing. Running less will add a bit of random, but I consider it a somewhat artifical randomness. I mean in a considerably cheaper F1, the cost of much more running, of much more track time would not be problematic at all.

    I do not know if the manufacturers could go back to less reliable cars, how blowing engines etc would look in media and social media. I think they looked very good otoh, oh those steam curtains 👍, I miss you all.

    And I think, race cars stopping due to reliabilty is not an artifical form of randomness.
    Also I think, having an even lower, and all inclusive cost cap (including costs even from third parties, like fuel development by “sponsors”) is not artifical at all. Being cost limited is very real at most of the engineering tasks.
    I would say, being cost limited is very real world relevant.

  32. “Wrong way” would also flash if they drive towards the “Ban Tyre Blankets Street”, considering how little niche F1 is compared to all of the other tiers of motorsport, compared to the production volume of the car manufacturers of the world. It is even smaller as a cost saving effort.
    I do not know why they want to be all-green, carbon neutral, road relevant as a tiny niche etc. Do the managers around the sport really think, that they can sell arguments like these indefinitely? Do they think that the majority of the fans is unable to abstract away in many cases?

  33. Although, maybe it is what their/these polls are used for.
    So, they will adapt (not necessarily by good means otoh) to fit the taste of most instead of loosing too much viewership.

  34. Ban practice! Ban Testing! Drivers have it too easy! Don’t let them see the track until lights out for qualifying!

    Lest Crofty, or other members of the Sky F1 team read this and think I’m serious– I’m not.

    Is there any other sport that tries to limit testing and practice the way F1 does?

  35. 24 F1 races all the same in a season is too much.
    Keep some (6) events with sprint races, have another 6 full weekends where teams can test new developments through the year (at venues where F3 & F2 don’t compete), have 6 on the shortened weekend, and run another 6 on a modified test session program where only development drivers can run the car in some sessions.

    Change up qualifying too.
    At some circuits use the spec tyre Q sessions, at others where they’re forever tripping over each other by crawling to prepare the car for one lap – rather have a superpole shootout with cars sent out for an out / fast / in lap sequence at spaced out intervals, at others the free tyre Q sessions we’ve been used to, and maybe even others using something like the FE head-to-head row by row sessions.

    Variety is interesting and t means they can avoid the problems created by trying to have a one-size-fits-all approach.

  36. I voted slightly against as I think there should be more diversity in the calendar.
    A few sprint races, a few special qualifying with mandatory tyres, a few week-end with reduced practice time. That would be fun, varying the format with everybody on the same page.

    I’d go further and say that there should be more extremes in the track layout: very fast tracks with little aero dependance like Monza, with Hungary or Monaco where mechanical grip is key and then the Silvertones where aero is king. Mix in front limited and rear limited tracks, in roughly equal quantities. The goal is to have a championship where to win all the races you need a car with opposite qualities : something that is physically impossible and thus you cannot achieve it. The best overall car would win the championship but you’d have several winners in a given year.
    But I suspect were going in the opposite direction with more and more urban venues added to the calendar.

    Oh, and bring back a proper testing calendar, with ten days or something to test the cars, prepare the drivers.

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