Williams "not wedded" to current three-day Formula 1 format
Williams head of vehicle performance Dave Robson has insisted the team is "not wedded" to the current three-day Formula 1 format despite confessing a personal fondness for the Friday "test day".
F1 completed its first planned two-day weekend at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, with a changed format that incorporated a single 90-minute Saturday practice session ahead of qualifying and the race on Sunday met with general approval.
With a draft calendar for 2021 currently comprising a record-breaking 23 races, it has led to questions being raised as to the necessity of the Friday sessions to the teams.
“I don’t think it would be too difficult [to adapt]," said Robson. "I think it’s one of those things that it affects all the teams almost equally so if that’s what the sport wanted to do I don’t think it would be a big problem."
“It’s sustainable if that’s the way we wanted to go. It’s probably not personally what I would like to do because I like the test day as it is on a Friday, but I’m not that wedded to it. We would learn to adapt. It would all work out.”
Despite the compromises and increased teamwork required from drivers to gather as much data as possible from a single practice session, Robson has given the format his support should F1 decide it can be run at additional races next season.
“[There are] Not an enormous number of compromises to be honest," Robson added.
"The Imola weekend we knew was going to be short so we prepared for that.
“In the past when we have, particularly at the Nürburgring, we did have to fairly hastily rewrite the plans for Saturday, but we’ve known Imola was going to be a 90-minute session and three sets of tyres so we planned accordingly.
“The main thing we missed out on was that we didn’t have any test items, any future R&D work like we would often have on a Friday so it was all just about qualifying and race preparation. That’s probably the biggest difference.”
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