How F1's new three-day race weekend format from 2021 will work

Formula 1 teams will have their bodywork specifications frozen on Friday mornings and have to commit to major set-up decisions before final practice from 2021

How F1's new three-day race weekend format from 2021 will work

As was suggested earlier this year, a new three-day format will cut back the need for certain personnel to be at tracks on Thursday ahead of a race and restrict teams' activity on their cars over the weekend.

Scrutineering will now take place one day later, on Friday mornings, and have to be completed one and a half hours before first practice.

A new "reference specification" will be introduced, whereby cars undergo initial scrutineering and the bodywork - excluding radiators - presented will effectively be frozen.

Development parts can then be trialled in FP1 and FP2 but cannot be used for the rest of the weekend, as the car must be returned to its reference specification before the start of final practice.

F1 motorsport managing director Ross Brawn said this is also a cost-cutting exercise.

"The introduction of a reference specification is an important point," said Brawn.

"You will on the Friday be able to try things. If you want to try a new front wing you can do that but you can't race it.

"The idea behind that is to stop the proliferation or the necessity to build lots of parts in case that front wing works.

"In current F1 you want to take a new front wing to the track and try it, you're concerned it will work well and therefore you need to make two or three of them for when you turn up at the track so both drivers can have it and you've got a spare.

"Suddenly you've got a huge expense and you're flying in parts last-minute to satisfy that need.

"There's some sensible housekeeping being done on the way we operate over a weekend to take a lot of strain off the teams."

As an extension of that, pre-race parc ferme will now begin when a car leaves the pitlane during FP3.

Presently, that process begins when a car leaves the pitlane for the first time during qualifying.

Any modification made to a car part, the suspension set-up or aerodynamic configuration will constitute a breach of parc ferme conditions and the driver must start the race from the pitlane.

The initial published sporting regulations state that FP1 and FP2 will each remain 90 minutes long but Brawn said these could be "possibly shorter", while FP3 will continue to be one hour in duration.

The curfew process has also been made "much stronger", said Brawn, "to take the load off the personnel".

Team personnel associated with the operation of the cars will be prevented from being at the track for a 13-hour period that ends four hours before FP1.

The second part of the curfew covers a nine-and-a-half hour period that ends three hours before FP3 begins.

Currently, the curfew stops such personnel being at the track for eight hours, ending three hours before the practice session begins, in both instances.

Revised media obligations have also been established to replace the activities that presently take place on Thursdays before a grand prix.

All drivers must be available for "media and promotional activities" that last no longer than two hours and finish no later than one-and-a-half hours before FP1 starts, and be available for at least five minutes within two hours of FP2 finishing.

shares
comments
Verstappen: Hamilton and Vettel words show I'm in their heads

Previous article

Verstappen: Hamilton and Vettel words show I'm in their heads

Next article

F1 teams obliged to run rookies in two FP1 sessions in 2021

F1 teams obliged to run rookies in two FP1 sessions in 2021
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Scott Mitchell
What Ferrari must do to reach the peak in F1 again Plus

What Ferrari must do to reach the peak in F1 again

Former Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren engineer Rodi Basso on what he’s learned about successful teams, and what the famous Italian squad needs to do to get back on top in Formula 1

The defining traits that set F1’s best apart Plus

The defining traits that set F1’s best apart

What makes the very best drivers in Formula 1 stand out among what is already a highly elite bunch? ANDREW BENSON takes a closer look at those with the special blend of skill, judgment, feel 
and attitude that sets only a select 
few apart from the rest.

Formula 1
Mar 7, 2021
How an unlikely F1 outsider gained acceptance Plus

How an unlikely F1 outsider gained acceptance

Channel 4's decision to pick Steve Jones as presenter of its Formula 1 coverage in 2016 raised eyebrows, and his presenting style grated with many fans at first. But, says BEN EDWARDS, Jones has developed into a presenter ripe for modern F1's direction

Formula 1
Mar 6, 2021
The updates Williams hopes will lead to a points-scoring return Plus

The updates Williams hopes will lead to a points-scoring return

After producing a car which demonstrated progress but lacked the points to prove it last year, Williams starts its new era of team ownership with the FW43B, its bid to continue the climb up the Formula 1 grid in 2021

Formula 1
Mar 5, 2021
How Ferrari plans to recover from its 2020 F1 nightmare Plus

How Ferrari plans to recover from its 2020 F1 nightmare

The 2020 Formula 1 season was Ferrari's worst for 40 years as it slumped to sixth in the standings. A repeat performance will not be acceptable for the proud Italian team, which has adopted a notably pragmatic approach to forging its path back to the top

Formula 1
Mar 4, 2021
Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery Plus

Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery

In the most eagerly anticipated Formula 1 team launch of the season, the rebranded Aston Martin squad’s changes go much further than the striking paint job. But rather than a restart, the team hopes to build on top of solid foundations.

Formula 1
Mar 3, 2021
The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with Plus

The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with

The team formerly known as Racing Point gambled successfully on a Mercedes look-alike in 2020 as it mounted a strong challenge for third in the constructors' race and won the Sakhir GP. Now clothed in British racing green, Aston Martin's first Formula 1 challenger since 1960 provides the clearest indicator yet of what to expect from the new-for-2021 regulations

Formula 1
Mar 3, 2021
The driver problems facing Mercedes in 2021 Plus

The driver problems facing Mercedes in 2021

Ahead of the new Formula 1 season, reigning world champions Mercedes will take on challenges both old and new. This also can be said for its driver conundrum which could become key to sustaining its ongoing success

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021