With the new race weekend format introduced in Formula 1 in 2021, Mercedes’ James Allison explains the difficulties caused by it.
In the 2021 Formula 1 season, the race weekend format has been modified. From this year on, all three free practices will be 60-minute long, while the 90-minute sessions on Friday are in the history books. Less time available to work on the cars creates issues for the teams and drivers and Mercedes’ technical director James Allison shared insights on it.
“It has forced us to introduce changes in the approach on Friday. For example, before we could allow ourselves to spend the first ten minutes in the pits, let others clean the track and be able to work directly on the program. With this change we cannot give ourselves this luxury. We have to start the session from the first moment and you have to keep moving forward. You have to keep the car on the track as long as possible,” Alisson said.
With less time to practice, but the same amount data to gather, the teams need to spend more time on the track, which indeed increases the intensity of all practice sessions. More than that, the teams have shifted the programs because of the new modification to get ready for the qualifying and race.
The next time we will see F1 cars during practice will be on April 16th-18th at the Made in Italy and Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix.