Liberty Media considers dropping Friday practice sessions to add more F1 races
The new owners of Formula 1, Liberty Media, is considering to drop the two Friday practice sessions from the race weekend to make it a two-day affair in the future.
According to an exclusive report on Forbes, the idea is to make it logistically possible for teams to run without an extra pressure in terms of finance and manpower, if the calendar is expanded to 25 races per season.
There has been talks within the F1 management to add more races, especially in America, to make the sport more popular in the country, as well as the world, in general.
More so, reports in September had Sean Bratches saying that since the takeover from Bernie Ecclestone, they have been approached by at least 40 new potential venues, who wants to hold a F1 race.
"The teams have logistical issues the more races we add," he said in Austin. "One of the things we are doing is looking at the format of a race weekend to see if we need to change that to make it logistically easier for them to do more races.
"So we have got a very open mind about how we go forward. I think the core race is still, for me personally, very important. We are not looking at changing the core event, but open question, do we need Friday running?
"Because if we didn't have Friday running, we could do more races because logistically it is better for the teams. But Friday running is important for the promoters and the broadcasters. How do we find the right solution?”
For years now, F1 has had a three-day weekend with two practice sessions on Friday, followed by the third practice session and the qualifying on Saturday, with the race on Sunday.
The Friday sessions usually offers the teams to run a younger driver - which does benefit the teams in multiple ways, more so financially - along with the normal preparation for the weekend, trying out various different set-ups on the cars.
Meanwhile, hosting fees has been one of the biggest sources of revenue for F1 and so it is no surprise that they want to add more races on the calendar - which also in some ways helps few of the bigger teams, with the dedicated profit share for them from the profit pool of F1.
However, teams have been vocal about the aforementioned pressures on them, which is a big issue in the calendar expansion - and as Brawn alluded to, making it a two-day affair will affect the promoters and the broadcasters financially, considering the amount they pay to host and televise the sport respectively.