F1 drivers agree: “Three practice sessions not needed, not necessary”

Drivers have united behind F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali’s idea to cut down the amount of practice sessions in a grand prix weekend.

Domenicali attended the first MotoGP weekend of 2023, where a new format means sprint races will feature on Saturdays at every round, ahead of Sunday’s full race, reducing practice time.

“I am a supporter of the cancellation of free practice sessions, which are of great use to the engineers, but that the public doesn’t like,” Domenicali said.

Remote video URL

He has already shaken up the standard F1 grand prix weekend schedule by introducing three sprint races last season, increased to six this year.

Asked if three practice sessions per weekend were required, George Russell answered: “No, is the answer. 

“Obviously the more practice you do, the more up to speed you’ll be, the more comfortable you’ll be with the car.

“I don’t think it’s right that F1 has three times the amount of practice as F3 and F2. They should get more practice, also because they do less races and don’t test as anyone.

“No practice would be too little.

“I wasn’t in favour of sprint races initially but, now, I enjoy them.

“Action on Friday is vital for all of us, and also for the entertainment.”

The referenced media source is missing and needs to be re-embedded.

Pierre Gasly agreed: “Three are not needed, from a driving point of view.”

Nico Hulkenberg said: “It comes down to personal preference. I quite enjoyed it at the time in F2, having only 30 minutes then getting thrown into qualy.”

Logan Sargeant replied: “Three is a lot, especially coming from F2 where you have to take risks more than I currently have to. Three isn’t necessary.”

The first practice session in Melbourne at the F1 Australian Grand Prix begins at 2.30am on Friday.

Karun Chandhok said on Sky: “I agree with Russell, find a happy balance.

“The format over the sprint weekends is pretty good. Practice and qualifying on Friday.

“There is scope to juggle things around. Maybe a second practice session on a Saturday is done in a slightly different way.

“Frankly, it is a balancing act.

“The sprint races work. You can’t do them everywhere. Monaco, for example, should not have a sprint race.

“Where you have good overtaking, like here with four DRS zones, why not?

“I’d rather watch a sprint than another practice session.”

Read More