Wolff wary of radical F1 format change like cutting Friday practice

Toto Wolff believes the DTM's experiment with shorter race weekends is a warning against a "radical" change to Formula 1's schedule like cutting out Friday practice

Wolff wary of radical F1 format change like cutting Friday practice

One of F1's proposals for future seasons is to shift Friday practice so it runs later, but it appears to have opted against a considerable reduction of track time or eliminating pre-weekend running entirely.

In recent years, grand prix weekends that have followed rain-hit Fridays have tended to produce more entertaining races, because teams have less data and are less prepared.

However, Mercedes F1 boss Wolff believes this is not necessarily an argument in favour of shortening race weekends, pointing to the DTM's short-lived elimination of Friday practice in 2013-14.

"We did that in the DTM many years ago and it felt like the weekend was not spectacular and special anymore," said Wolff.

"If it's cut short to two days it takes some value out of a race weekend and Formula 1 is the pinnacle of motor racing, and it's the world championship among engineers, drivers and the best teams.

"Therefore, that is a thing I wouldn't change - I would leave it [practice] on Friday."

A high-profile recent example of a Friday washout aiding the quality of the grand prix is last year's race in the United States (pictured above), which ended with three cars from three different teams using different strategies and finishing just a couple of seconds apart.

Wolff admitted it was possible that the amount of running on Friday directly correlated with the spectacle on Sunday.

"When you're not able to tune your car that well, then you have more gaps," he said.

"Whether that is the reason why some teams are falling away and others are doing better, I'm not entirely sure, but it could well be the case."

Though Wolff is in favour of retaining practice sessions on Friday, he is not against amending the format.

"What we can think about is cutting a session short on Friday or reducing the running time to 60 and 60 minutes rather than 90 minutes," he added.

"These are things that are worth considering but I wouldn't go for a radical cancellation of the Friday."

shares
comments
Ferrari admits it should've focused on downforce with 2019 F1 car

Previous article

Ferrari admits it should've focused on downforce with 2019 F1 car

Next article

Verstappen: McLaren era gave Honda cautious F1 start with Red Bull

Verstappen: McLaren era gave Honda cautious F1 start with Red Bull
Load comments
The key details the boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory Plus

The key details the boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon at the returning Circuit of the Americas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement Plus

Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man ANTHONY PEACOCK explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it)

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Plus

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material Plus

Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull Plus

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be another close contest

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Plus

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Plus

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021