Ferrari warn two-day weekends could lead to more grands prix
Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has suggested to a potential increase in the number of grands prix per season should Formula 1 decide to implement two-day weekends in the future.
In light of what unfolded recently across the Eifel Grand Prix weekend when there was only running on Saturday and Sunday after Friday practice was cancelled, and with the forthcoming Emilia Romagna GP at Imola over two days, talk has surfaced as to whether F1 should drop Fridays permanently.
Suggested to Binotto that working 20 to 22 days less per year could lend itself to F1 adding more races to the calendar, he replied: "There is a regulation on that. There is a maximum number of races in the Concorde Agreement which we cannot exceed.
"I am pretty sure from the 22 we have got that new format certainly is the best."
It is understood the maximum number of races permitted at present within the Concorde Agreement is 24.
Binotto added: "It is a long discussion. It is a matter of business versus spectacle versus effort. The discussions started in what was once the Strategy Group, and now the F1 Commission, and I think that is the plan of where we are going as F1 today."
With obvious pros and cons over the debate, Binotto feels if the programme was changed in the future, consideration needs to be given to a more extended practice period on a Saturday morning.
At the Nürburgring, final practice remained only one-hour long, although at Imola the sole practice session will run for 90 minutes.
"I think it has been an interesting experience," said Binotto regarding what unfolded in Germany.
"Certainly, from the engineering point of view, the only practice session on Saturday morning was too short, especially if you need to test new items.
"Looking ahead, if we are going to only have two days, then on Saturday morning we should have a longer practice session."
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