The F1 race weekend could be set to take on a different format from 2015 onwards as teams look to cut costs.
Following a meeting of the Strategy Group, it has been proposed that one of the two Friday practice sessions are scrapped, leaving the teams to run just one session on a Friday afternoon or early evening. As a result, teams can arrive later at race venues in order to cut down costs on accommodation.
At present, teams arrive early in the week to prepare for the race weekend, with media sessions taking place throughout Thursday and two 90-minute practice sessions being held on Friday. The one, later session could also be timed to encourage fans – especially the younger demographic – to attend following work or school.
The current Friday schedule sees three hours of track time in total, but one of the new proposals could see that reduced to two hours at most.
Speaking exclusively to Crash.net
, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said a final proposal was yet to be agreed upon.
“These are proposals that will have to go to the Formula One Commission which all of the teams sit on, together with the promoters and the FIA,” Horner said. “If any change is voted through on a majority basis there then it will go to the World Motor Sport Council for approval to be introduced for next year. There's plenty of proposals floating around at the moment but until it goes through the Commission it's purely speculation.
“At the moment it's fine tuning. The problem with the teams is there is always different opinions on the way that things should be done, and with the amount of teams that there are there is a different opinion for each of them. There are some things that I think will be tidied up for next year that will be a help, that there will be some cost savings, and it shouldn't detract in any way from the show.”
And Horner said the main focus of any changes had to be on delivering a better experience for the fans.
“We'll go with the majority on that, we don't feel particularly strongly either way. There's pros and minuses to both but I think at the end of the day it's down for the promoter to say what he needs – together with the venues we travel to around the world – what's best for them and the fans.
“Formula One foremost and upmost is a show, is entertainment. Of course, if something goes then it has got to be substituted by something else. We need to do more for the fans to get them engaged and to get them to see the characters of the drivers and the different teams.”
Teams have also discussed the potential of scrapping in-season testing – which only returned with four in-season tests at race venues this year – in a bid to further reduce costs.