Formula 1 drivers say they have too much time to practice during race weekends, after poor weather around the Nurburgring forced the cancellation of two sessions yesterday.
Drivers had just one hour of practice on Saturday morning before the qualifying session began. The two Friday sessions, totalling three hours of running, were cancelled as fog in the surrounding area meant the medical helicopter was not available for use.
However pole winner Valtteri Bottas said giving teams less chance to perfect the handling of their cars would be a positive change for Formula 1.
“Currently in a normal weekend I feel like there is too much practice,” he said. “Everyone finds their ways on set-ups and optimal things in terms of driving and the car set-up.
“But if there would be a bit less practise, maybe some teams can get it right, some drivers can get it right and some don’t. So I’d kind of like it with a bit less practice.”
His Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton echoed his view. Bottas believes the teams would only have been marginally quicker if they had been able to complete yesterday’s two practice sessions.
“It’s so difficult to say a number but no doubt the more you have practice, you’re getting all the fine details right. Especially Friday, you have the whole night between the sessions to look at things and learn about things from the car and driver. So I think with more practise we’d have been a tiny bit quicker.”
Verstappen also believes teams only make minor gains based on their Friday practice running.
“Especially when you have little issues or whatever, you can go over it through a whole night. You can look back at it in the factories as well, work in the simulator and stuff.
“But overall like Valtteri said, we have a lot of practice so you also take your time to settle in. Now, you know that it’s only one session, you’re straight away on it I think a bit more than what you would normally do in first practice or whatever. So it evens out a bit, but there are little things which can always be improved.”
Formula 1 is due to hold a two-day race weekend at Imola later this year. A single, 90-minute practice session will be held ahead of the usual qualifying procedure on Saturday, following by the race on Sunday.
2020 Eifel Grand Prix
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