F1 could reduce practice sessions to help cut costs

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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.

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.