Formula 1 set for weekend overhaul in 2015
|By Jonathan Noble||Friday, June 6th 2014, 11:52 GMT|
Formula 1 is poised for a revised weekend format in 2015, with Friday's practice schedule set for an overhaul, AUTOSPORT can reveal.
Teams have been debating various ideas to try to reduce costs in the future, and one proposal that has gained support is to revise the Friday timetable next year.
Sources have revealed that teams have now provisionally agreed to scrap the current format of two 90-minute sessions that has been in place for years.
Instead they want just a single 90-minute practice session on Fridays in 2015 - which is likely to take place late in the afternoon. It could even begin as late as 5pm.
The idea behind this move is that it will allow teams and personnel to arrive at grands prix one day later than they currently do, which will save significant costs on hotel and other related travel expenses.
Although there will be less official track action, teams believe the change will also be acceptable to race promoters because the later start gives local fans more opportunity to attend without having to miss a whole day's work or school.
Although the proposal has been supported by teams, it still needs to go through the Formula 1 Commission and the FIA World Motor Sport Council for approval before it can be put into the 2015 regulations.
Meetings of both these bodies are scheduled for later this month, and it is unlikely - although not impossible - that the idea gets rejected.
F1's race promoters, who sit on the F1 Commission, may not support the teams' view that the new format will be good for Friday ticket sales.
Other proposals that are understood to have been approved are a ban on in-season testing and a reduction in pre-season running, plus tighter parc ferme restrictions on grand prix weekends to stop teams flying in last-minute updates.
While there has been a push to change sporting regulations to reduce costs, F1's smaller teams are still eager for a cost cap as well.
However, the FIA has abandoned its push for this idea because of resistance from bigger outfits.