New F1 owners: No Friday practice & Two races per weekend


Update to the Liberty media story:

Further Lberty proposals – less races in europe & 25 races a year by 2020

In an effort to make the sport more appealing to the American public, Liberty Media are proposing some very seismic changes to an F1 weekend.

A proposal under serious consideration is a big revamp of the race weekend as we know it along with re-aligning the calendar to be more US and Euro friendly.

A short ‘sprint’ race on Saturday along with drastically shortening the Sunday race will be a possible solution to capture the US public and entice them away from NASCAR. A total removal of Friday practice would also be considered in an effort to condense the whole show to two days.

The ideas mooted have surprisingly received a ‘warm’ reaction from some senior team figures, reported by UK newspaper iSport.

“It’s doable. There’s scope to do something different on race weekends. At the moment, Sunday is showtime and everything else just builds towards that.

From a team point of view, two race days make sense, though at the moment contracts with promoters make provision for cars on track over three days, so any change would have take account of that.”

We are indeed at a time of change higher up on the Richter scale than we thought possible…

Gold, Silver and Bronze anyone?

34 responses to “New F1 owners: No Friday practice & Two races per weekend

    • Although unconfirmed, it’s believed that some form of practice will occur throughout the weekend. It would likely be at the expense of a support series I’d imagine.

  1. I don’t think the majority of teams will like no testing on Fridays.
    And two days racing sounds weird to me. It’s all about the Grand Prix of “country”. So it sounds better when there is one race as the main event and all the anticipation builds to that one event.
    I personally think that the weekend is structured in the right way and to change it for the sake of changing it will make it worst as we’ve seen with the ridiculus knock-out qualifying this year. They can tweak it here and there but this radical change might be disruptive.

    • i agree with what you are saying in your comment maybe instead of two races lets put more emphasis on Qualifiying and maybe throw out some points on the saturday but it is international gran prix of britian ! and !! doesn’t sit well with me

  2. One less day of people at a track will hurt the promoters and concession people. I wonder if Liberty will drop the weekend fee from $25 million to say $18, and reduce “prize” money too? If they drop GP3 and say Porsche cup to cram in another race on Saturday, that’s another $5million… Friday is just practice and testing, lightweight viewers don’t have to watch it, or even campout. For real fans it’ll be a loss. I would hope the Liberty people go to more than four F1 races in their lives before they start changing things

  3. I think this format will mentain the interest in the competition all the way trought the season.

    The starting hour will be the same as it is now.


    Fp1 will become a 2 hours session.

    Fp2 will become qualification time on the same format q1,q2,q3(because a lot of people are still at work at the time when Fp2/qualification starts it can be move an hour or two hour later).


    Fp3 will become a 30 minutes warm up session.

    Qualification will become a 40 minues sprint race+a lap,top 6 will be in points 10-6-4-3-2-1 and the drivers COULD come in to the pits one time as they will start sundays race on the same tyres on which they will finnish the race.


    The grid from saturday will be reverse for the top 10 drivers and the race will be 75 minutes+a lap,the drivers MUST come into the pits at least one time.

    The top 10 drivers will be on points on th

  4. We already have 2 day, 2 race series it’s called GP2 why would we need another? The Americans have no regard for history as they have none themselves. Condensed into 2 days could be fun but one race please, Indy and NASCAR are a welcome change but F1 is technology, we not using pushrod engines anymore.

  5. This will be the end of F1 as we know it and I think others like me will boycott F1 for some other sport. I have watch F1 since my karting days many many yeas ago. R.I.P.F1

  6. It’s window-dressing that doesn’t address F1’s fundamental problems: the technical straitjacket and reality TV sporting rules.

    As for scrapping Friday practice (Thursday at Monaco), the Rainiers are sure to veto that.

  7. Next up will be the introduction of oval tracks, stetson hats and incest. When they finish with that, they will replace the racing with Stats and Infomercials on femin hygiene products. Welcome, everybody to F1 2017

    • I’m not sure about those hats but the rest seems ok, or at least better than what we have now. Seriously though, I don’t think these ideas are anywhere near good but I would like to see them implemented just for the sake of Ferrari threatening to leave the “sport” again and the entire strategy group pulling the remains of their hair out. F1 now is a piece of crap. I will welcome any changes to make it better. These most likely won’t but hey, at least there’ll be tears and drama from the teams, and these are always fun.

  8. My guess is, this story is a flash-bang grenade: Much noise and a bright light to get one’s attention focused away from something else going on.

  9. Dummy it down to appeal to the lowest common denominator of spectator in motorsports. Brilliant idea. It worked so well for AMA Superbike what could possibly go wrong.

  10. More isn’t always better more-ons!

    Priority list for Liberty:
    – make the current show more attractive by using other camera’s and other shots, adding heartbeat and breathing at onboard shots, showing every overtake (no, they don’t currently!) and show more raw material streamed from the audience by phones
    – oh and have helmet cams for the onboard shots
    – fix distribution of money
    – fix the rules short term: ditch DRS at tracks where there’s no value, like Spa or Suzuka or Canada – I like it at Barcelona, Monaco and Hungary
    – fix the rules long term: give freedom of development, but keep a maximum on the amount of joules and fix front and rearwings
    – then stop. Watch what happens first.

    • I like a lot of what you say.
      However, if I wanted to listen to heavy breathing I would watch porn. Seriously, I don’t want the breathing and heartbeat feed, and certainly not poor quality, badly framed phone footage from the spectators. We already have too many shots of the crowd, usually when something interesting is happening on track. Nor do I want shots of Z-list “celebrities” nobody has ever heard of, instead of the racing. Getting rid of, or improving, the worst of the Tilke tracks would be beneficial.
      I fear that commercial breaks will be every 15 or 20 mins and totally destroy the enjoyment of the show. In which case its better to watch from the unofficial sites which don’t include adverts. If we thought Bernie was bad, these recommendations will make him look like a saint and will kill the sport forever.

      • Did you ever listen to phone recordings of F1? They’re so raw, so pure.
        As opposed to the world feed, which is compressed and then delivered, then commentary is added (mmm, let’s put the background noise a bit softer) and then it is …compressed.

        That is fine for most of the race. But not for the whole thing. Same for helmet cams. You must see the violence in order to feel you’re watching very special guys doing very special things with very special cars.

        Which brings me to heartbeats and breathing. Unfortunately I can’t find the YouTube clip about this anymore. It showed how the heartbeat got from 180 to 50 while braking. And you heard every gulp of breath needed to master an F1 car.

        Shots like that will end “oh they’re only driving” comments once and for all.

        ::::;;; anybody knows the clip I’m talking about? It’s at Spa with breathing and heartbeat ::::::;;;;,

  11. 2 races on different days works great for WSBK…. Oh no, it doesn’t. Hmmm, maybe we should fit F1 engines to Ford Transits, VW T6 Transporters and such and make that a support series….

    • Haha, that would be great! Like the old Transit F1 and the Espace F1 🙂
      But seriously, why not a supportrace like they used to do with the BMW M1 Procar series, with F1 drivers and guest drivers behind the wheel.

  12. The format does not need to be condensed or stripped in anyway.. I think they need to make FP3 more of a feature, perhaps a qualifying type session and turn the qualifying session in to a points-for-place session and then reverse it for the race. Reducing the amount of sessions takes away from an already needy-for-news sport.

  13. And how long will it take to have all the races in the u.s.a. And be called the american f1 dream……

  14. The American is using F1 to attack NASCAR?
    We have been fine all this time, why mess it up? If we love the American format, we would have catch the Indy n NASCAR series.

  15. I like sound of it. F1 needs a drastic change and i’m all for anything with in realistic reason.

  16. As a person who subscribes to Pay TV and also has to travel over 2000 km to attend a race in my country, condensing the race weekend to 2 days and packing more F1 action into it is much more value for my money. Less days to pay for accommodation, less food, less drink, less travel to and from the circuit etc etc etc. When I’m at home watching, I want more meaningful sessions and much more F1 action ON THE TRACK.
    I have been an advocate of dropping Fridays for a long time and I’ve always felt we don’t see the cars on track enough for the entire weekend. I’m not alone with those thoughts! Millions want the same value for their hard earned dollar, euro, franc, pound, peso, juan etc.
    I’d want to see my beloved F1 cars on the track for a far greater chunk of the “wasted” time we currently endure. Time which is filled with idiotic, repeated comments and vision from boring commentators who are led by the nose by TV station managers with agendas far removed from what is best for F1.
    A vast majority of fans work on Friday, that’s why circuit attendances and live TV viewing numbers are very poor. If we do decide to take the day off and make the extra effort, the F1 cars sit in their garages for far too long to save engines, drive-trains, tyres, etc. It’s ludicrous and extremely boring. At best, we only get to see each car and driver on track for half of those Friday sessions anyway, it’s a totally wasted day in most respects.
    I really don’t care about support races either, except the highly entertaining, one-off novelty type races which are great fun. I can watch the other racing categories when they race in their own series and have their own sponsors displayed around the track.

    My idea is a drastic change from the norm but it fills the horrible voids and entertains almost non-stop for both days of the weekend. Great value and ‘big bang for my buck’!
    Saturday ~ Morning ~ 75 minute practice session ~ 30 min break ~ 75 minute Quali with the current Q3 Q2 Q1 format but with 5 min longer sessions to allow for the pit stops. Quali 1 decides the starting grid for Race 1 on Sunday.
    Saturday ~ Afternoon ~ Same as the Morning ~ Quali 2 deciding the starting grid for Race 2 on Sunday.
    That would fill Saturday quite nicely with plenty of on-track F1 action for die-hard fans at the circuit and allow Pay TV audiences to enjoy MUCH better value for money too.
    Sunday ~ Morning ~ 30 min Warm-Up (to set-up cars for the current conditions) ~ 90 min 1st Race .
    Sunday ~ Afternoon ~ 30 min Warm-Up (to set-up cars for the current conditions) ~ 90 min 2nd Race\.
    Championship Points for top 12 positions, as well as 3 points for Fastest Lap, 2 points for Most Positions Gained (and to bring the pit crews into it) 1 point for Fastest Pit Stop.
    (I would gladly swap that format to having a Prac, Quali and Race on each day instead)
    Pit crews working on pit stops should be dropped to 8 people. 1 for each jack at front and rear. One with a new wheel and one with a cordless rattle gun on each side of the car. A third to bring out the extra wheel and take them away as the old one is removed. Those 3 people must do both the front and rear wheel in any order of front and rear on their side of the car. Wing adjustments, cleaning radiator ducts and cleaning driver’s visor must be done before the wheels are touched for safety as the jacks will be dropped and the car launches as soon as the wheel changes are finished.
    At least that makes for a true “race” between the pit crews and we can watch it all unfold. The current system is a 2 second blur with far too many people involved, which is bad for the fans watching because if two or more cars pit at the same time it’s impossible to watch them. At present, if you even blink … it’s all over!

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