F1 to keep weekend format in 2015

Formula 1 has decided that canceling Friday’s Free Practice 1 session is not something they are willing to do just yet. In a meeting this week, the F1 Commission met to discuss future plans for F1 and as AUTOSPORT mentioned recently, the notion of canceling the first practice session on Friday was one of them.

According to their recent news report, the concept was turned down by the commission as promoters feared a negative impact on ticket sales—you think? The whole notion of canceling Friday’s first practice session was to save money but there are other factors being considered although FIA president, Jean Todt, called those a “joke”.

What was left to discuss is the use of tire blankets and the group did not cancel the use of those but did suggest that Pirelli branding on the blankets would reduce their costs. Other changes discussed were expanded Parc Ferme restrictions and the number of team personnel who can attend a race—something in the neighborhood of reducing that number by two.

There was a tweak to 2015 testing, however, and now we will have two in-season sessions with the pre-season testing to take place in Europe only.

The “changes” have to be ratified by the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council in Munich next week. The timing is crucial as F1’s looming June 30 regulatory deadline is near and any changes after this date require unanimous agreement from all teams. As of now, it only requires a 70% majority via the F1 Strategy group and its representatives.

So these are the big cost-cutting ideas that F1 has come up with? Tire blankets, having two fewer people at a race and possibly looking at a simplified fuel system, braking system with reduced testing? Sometimes you simply have to shake your head and wonder what these folks are truly thinking.

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