FIA tweaks Formula 1 weekend format from British GP

Formula 1 will revert to four-day weekends from the British Grand Prix

This weekend’s Formula 1 British Grand Prix will bring with it a revised weekend format with official activities expanding back to four days.

For the first nine races of the year, the FIA had attempted to condense the programme into three officials days.

It was a change that proved unpopular with drivers and the media, the former claiming they were even more busy than previously.

The change was introduced in an effort to reduce the workload on some members of the paddock, eliminating the need to be at the circuit on Thursday.

However, that proved not to be the case as a number of key preparation items could not be completed once the weekend formally got underway – track walks for instance.

Drivers also complained that, with the Friday morning press conferences, they were being tasked with more sessions on a Thursday, on top of the usual engineering prep they were involved in.

“I think it’s more about how we’re doing like the press conferences and the media activities,” Max Verstappen said over the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix weekend of the new format.

“I think it was better before because now Thursday is very long, which officially is not really a day any more but actually for us it’s the same amount, or even more.

“And even more now on a Friday, where you come in early. I mean, coming in early is not a problem, but your whole day is longer.

“So going to more races, you would like to have a shorter weekend, but actually now, with more races we’re also having longer weekends, or at least more days that we are actually at the track and doing stuff.

“That definitely needs to change.”

A bulletin issued to accredited media, including Speedcafe.com, advised changes to the weekend press conference format in an effort to address the issues.

From Silverstone this weekend, the pre-event press conferences will take place on a Thursday, with 10 drivers to take part.

Those who don’t are obliged to participate in a media session organised by their team.

The remainder of the weekend otherwise runs as it was, with team representatives to face the press on Saturday morning before Free Practice 3 as had become the norm.

Post-qualifying and post-race sessions will also take place without change.

It’s part of a further opening of the Formula 1 paddock, which has continued to operate to a number of restrictions including having the permanent media continue to nominate which events they planned to attend.

Going forward, that is no longer required, though local COVID requirements for each country will remain in effect.

Speedcafe.com is the only Australian publication to hold permanent FIA Formula 1 accreditation.

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