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Ricciardo wants F1 practice red flag rules rethink after Abu Dhabi delays

The FIA should consider using the qualifying-style system of stopping the clock to make up for lost time in red-flagged Formula 1 practice sessions, according to AlphaTauri’s Daniel Ricciardo.

Marshals remove the damaged car of Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23, from the circuit after a crash in FP2

Marshals remove the damaged car of Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23, from the circuit after a crash in FP2

Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

FP2 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix season finale was halted for a total of 37 minutes due to two crashes.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz lost the rear through Turn 3 and he speared into the outside barriers to create a 27-minute red flag period. Three minutes after the track went green again, Nico Hulkenberg spun his Haas into the wall out of Turn 1.

This followed an FP1 session in which 10 rookie drivers took part, enabling teams at the last opportunity to satisfy the FIA criteria to run a newcomer in each of their cars during a season.

Due to the limited running for the regular drivers, Ricciardo reckoned the countdown on the hour-long practice session needed to be paused to ensure drivers were not robbed of too much running. This would also be a system akin to basketball or American football.

Ricciardo said: “If there isn't [anything on track after F1], it would be nice to stop the clock.

“I did FP1, but a lot of drivers didn't, so they are kind of staring down an FP1 with like five laps or something.

“So, it would have been nice to maybe get a little bit of time back.

“That's something we can discuss in the drivers' briefing tonight [Friday] and look for a few more rule changes.”

Marshals remove the damaged car of Nico Hulkenberg, Haas VF-23, after a crash in FP2

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Marshals remove the damaged car of Nico Hulkenberg, Haas VF-23, after a crash in FP2

Following FP2, the track was required for a 30-minute qualifying session for the United Arab Emirates FIA Formula 4 series.

After contributing to the interruptions, Hulkenberg sided with the Australian. He reckoned: “I think it's a very fair point.

“There are obviously other implications, how the rest of the schedule has to be changed and TV times and all these things. It's probably not as straightforward as we think.

“But obviously, we lost a good 20 minutes with Carlos' red flag with the barrier repair. So, it's probably going to be a talking point going forward.”

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But Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas was cold on the idea, believing F1 already has too much practice running and could scale back the track time given the tools available to the teams.

He said: “I don't think [we need changes], because it's the same for everybody else. We have too much practice nowadays anyway. Three practices is too much.

“We don't need that anymore with the simulation tools and simulators we have nowadays.”

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