The FIA Sporting Regulation threw light on a big change to the practice session length for F1 2021, as Barcelona is closer to new deal after Government’s nod.
A Twitter user brought our notice to a small but an important change in the latest FIA Sporting Regulation for 2021 F1 season. The change wasn’t there in the earlier version published in June, but popped up first in the updated October version.
It stayed as that in the latest December version, post the FIA WMSC virtual meet. The change is about the two Friday practice sessions, which seems like, has been truncated to just the one hour, as opposed to one and a half hours the F1 teams/drivers get.
The gap between the remains as two and a half hours. Also, the FP3 session remains the same with the one hour time, but it is supposed to start no less than 19.5 hours after the end of FP2, which is also a change of one hour from 18.5 until the 2020 F1 season.
At first it seemed like a miss print, considering that F1 were looking to lessen the workload to accommodate more races under new regulations, but the 2022 Sporting Regulation has the old rule of FP1 and FP2 running for one and a half hour and FP3 after 17.5 hours.
It looks like that F1 may well have just one hour practice sessions on Friday in 2021, considering that the season is a carryover from 2020, due to COVID-19 troubles. Since the chassis remains the same with only few changes allowed, track time could be saved.
It may not entirely be for time saving or to slowly shorten the F1 race weekends, but this could be for cost reasons, as the pre-season test has also been truncated from six to three days for 2021 – likely to be at Barcelona from March 2-4.
Here’s the altered 2021 FIA F1 Sporting Regulation for Free Practice Session:
32) FREE PRACTICE –
32.1 a) Two free practice sessions (P1 and P2), each lasting one hour and separated by at least two and a half hours, will take place on the second day of the Event.
b) A further free practice session (P3), lasting one hour and starting no less than nineteen (19) and a half hours after the end of P2, will take place the day before the race.
Here’s the 2022 FIA Sporting Regulation for Free Practice Session:
4.5 Free Practice –
Two free practice sessions (P1 and P2), each lasting one and a half hours and separated by at least two hours, will take place on the first day of the Competition.
A further free practice session (P3), lasting one hour and starting no less than seventeen and a half hours after the end of P2, will take place the day before the race.
Although F1 is yet to release an official timing schedule, McLaren’s Head of Strategy Randeep Singh noted on his Twitter that FP1 and FP2 in 2021 will be for one hour. “FP1 and FP2 are both an hour long for the 2021 season,” he wrote, when asked by a fan.
Meanwhile, staying on with the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona circuit, an announcement of a new F1 contract is likely to come soon, after the Government’s nod. Reports suggests that the Spanish GP will not just take place in 2021 but it is likely to be there until 2025.
El #Govern autoritza la signatura de la renovació del contracte per organitzar el Gran Premi de Fórmula 1 a Catalunya. L’objectiu és que contribueixi a la reactivació econòmica i a la reindustrialització de la zona. @Circuitcat_cat @F1
— Govern. Generalitat (@govern) December 29, 2020
The English translation reads: “[The Government] authorizes the signing of the contract renewal to organize the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Catalonia. The aim is to contribute to the economic reactivation and reindustrialization of the area.”
The above points towards reports which has talked about the Government developing the area around the F1 circuit into a commercial hub, which will help provide an economic boost to the region and also the country as a whole.
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Here’s more changes in the FIA notes for 2021 F1 season
Here’s news on Barcelona Turn 10 changes