Formula 1 is expected to scrap one of the Friday practice sessions in an attempt to cut costs and financially help the teams that are further down the grid.
Currently, there are two practice sessions held on a Friday lasting 90 minutes, with a third one-hour session taking place on a Saturday morning before qualifying in the afternoon. However, the parties running the sport are now looking to remove one of the Friday sessions in order to reduce running and cut costs, according to reports.
It is expected that the earlier session on Friday would be scrapped, with the second session being held later in the afternoon to allow people to attend once they have finished work, thus aiding ticket sales.
This move would essentially condense the formalities from an F1 weekend from four days down to three, meaning that those travelling to the race could leave one day later. In turn, this would help to reduce costs.
According to the BBC, the plans have been approved by the three major bodies running the sport – the FIA, the commercial rights holder, and the F1 Strategy Group – and could be put in place for the 2015 season.
Currently, Thursdays are dedicated to previewing the race and media interviews. However, under this plan, these would take place on a Friday morning ahead of practice.
This would also ensure that some of the sessions are not wasted, as we see in Singapore and Abu Dhabi. FP1 usually takes place in the daytime, while all of the other sessions are at night, making it far from representative and not very beneficial.
The changes are yet to be formally confirmed, but with the major power players in F1 approving of them, a first step – albeit a small one – towards cutting costs may be taken.