F1 proposes extended FP1 to help young drivers
20 September, 2013
Friday free practice sessions could be extended from 90 to 120 minutes next year in a bid to help young drivers gain valuable Formula 1 mileage.
That is the claim of Auto Motor und Sport, revealing that the proposal authored by team bosses and Formula 1 race director Charlie Whiting will be put to the forthcoming meeting of the World Motor Sport Council.
The extended session would be to give extra preparatory and running time for teams, with race drivers and test drivers eligible to drive the same car during a single session.
The ‘test drivers’ eligible to drive in the extended first practice session will have to have an international A license, and have contested no more than two grands prix recently.
So far, the proposed change has drawn a mixed response.
“For us, it would take an hour to convert the car from one driver to another,” said Williams’ team manager Dickie Stanford.
But Force India’s Andy Stevenson insisted: “At Monza, it took us ten minutes to get the car ready for Paul di Resta after James Calado drove it.”
Auto Motor und Sport said the top teams are unlikely to field young drivers, but for outfits like Caterham and Marussia it would be “a welcome source of income”.