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Mandatory FP1 outings for youngsters?

NEWS STORY
09/09/2021

F1 boss, Stefano Domenicali has said that teams could be forced to run up and coming drivers in Friday practice.

Currently, teams can run young drivers with the requisite licence, but only a handful of them do so and even then on a limited number of occasions.

This combined with the strict limitations on testing means that upcoming drivers get little to no on-track experience in current F1 machinery.

Consequently, F1 is talking with the teams with a view to making it mandatory that young drivers get to take part in FP1 sessions from next season.

"The topic of young drivers is very important and interests us," Domenicali told members of the Italian media ahead of this weekend's Grand Prix, according to Motorsport.com, "and that is why, at a time when tests are so regulated, there are some ideas that we will discuss in the next meetings with the teams.

"In particular, we want to make the presence of young drivers mandatory in free practice," he added.

In addition to giving youngsters valuable experience, Domenicali claims that the lack of running on Friday mornings for the established drivers might - groan - spice up the action over the remainder of the weekend.

"If you think about it, there is very little opportunity for a non-F1 driver to show what he can do or even sit in an F1 car because the tests are limited," said Guenther Steiner in response to the idea. "Maybe this is something we should entertain.

"I think we have to agree, all of the teams, FIA and FOM together, if this is the right way forward.

"But in general, I wouldn't be opposed... if it comes, it comes."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by ChickenFarmerF1, 10/09/2021 17:43

"How's about we get rid of the testing ban? Yeah, teams would spend more (absent a meaningful cost cap regulation). So what?

When Red Bull couldn't compete because the Renault engine sucked the testing ban caused Mercedes to utterly dominate because they did a better job initially on the engine. When Honda came back we lost the chance to see them return to glory with McLaren because they couldn't do the track testing needed to sort out and develop their engine.

The ban on most testing has resulted in worse racing. So remedy that problem, and other problems like youngsters trying to gain experience in an F1 car solve themselves."

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2. Posted by Spindoctor, 10/09/2021 10:24

"This idea's a bit like the Curate's Egg - good in parts.
The idea of giving youngsters more wheel-time sounds great on the surface. Unfortunately, with current restrictions on testing Teams need to get high-quality feedback on car performance from every on-track session - something that will be especially important in 2022 with new cars etc.

The obvious solution (& hence unlikely to be implemented) would be to allocate an extra slice of time for Teams to run their young drivers only."

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3. Posted by 79-626inHI, 09/09/2021 20:28

"Simply allow an extra 30 minutes and extra set(s) of tires only for those "young" drivers to run after FP1 at designated race weekends (perhaps every second or third GP). "

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4. Posted by moorfieldmike, 09/09/2021 15:01

"Why not allow teams additional testing days with the strict requirement that the driver has not previously completed an F1 race lap. This would help the teams and junior drivers. While stopping the likes of the returning Alonso from taking a junior drivers chance."

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5. Posted by kenji, 09/09/2021 14:42

"@ Wokingchap...I'm with you there on this one.I think that more needs to be done but not at the expense of the dedicated drivers."

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6. Posted by Wokingchap, 09/09/2021 14:36

"Limiting valuable serious practice time even further..... not sure about this one."

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