Smaller teams criticise F1 practice changes
Senior figures are said to have been discussing numerous ideas with a view to reducing the financial burden on teams, with a revision to the weekend schedule among those up for debate.
Reports on Friday suggested teams had provisionally agreed to a reduction to just a single 90-minute Friday practice session from next season, but Force India technical director Andrew Green was among those to voice his concerns.
“From Force India’s perspective, we don’t see this as cost-saving at all,” he is quoted as saying by Autosport .
“For us, we’ve always looked to use the FP1 session to blood in some new drivers and that was an income stream for us and if we lose that, that’s going to be a relatively severe blow, which, in turn, will have an impact on our technical ability so in that respect, I don’t think it’s cost-saving.”
Sauber’s head of track engineering Giampaolo Dall’ara added: “I can’t judge on the cost-saving side which is out of my area but technically, for a team like ours, the time at the track is very precious.
“Obviously we are more limited than other teams in simulation as a broad concept so time on track is extremely important for us.”
While expressing his support for the proposals, Mercedes executive director Paddy Lowe conceded changes may need to be made before any changes became concrete.
“I think the rationale is to reduce the workload on the cars significantly through the weekend and also to reduce the consumption of parts, particularly power units, which is one of the major costs for all the teams, but that’s a particular burden for the smaller teams,” he said.
“That was the concept. It’s still to be finalised, by the way, so there’s a whole month in order to determine the small print and to finally approve it but the concept was to save money.
“If teams are feeling it isn’t going to save money, then of course it could be reviewed.”
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