We’ve all been there; watching an empty track whilst listening to the commentators trying to fill the void with some often interesting tangents.
Friday practice sessions are the welcoming end of a long week at work. They are the icing on the cake of dress-down Friday. It is often the time to find out the latest goings-on around the paddock and it’s a great warm up to the weekend’s racing.
Occasionally, you might just see a few cars going around the track as well.
So why on earth would you hear a rumour that there are plans to chop it. The theory goes something along the lines of ‘it works in Formula E’ or ‘it’ll save money’ or even ‘it’s just not needed’. Thankfully, apart from Cyril Abiteboul, there appears to be little support in the paddock.
We love Friday sessions.
Where else will we be able to see the new up-and-coming driver talents, testing themselves in an F1 car for the first time. Or watch some pay-drivers get the same experience. We all know that Manor and Marussia made a fair bit of money doing this, as well as some of the more established teams.
If you’re at the track, we think Fridays are amazing. They give you the opportunity to walk around the circuit, watching all the cars going through all the sections. You can literally see every aspect of the race in one very long walk. Come Saturday or Sunday, it’s just too crowded and busy to be able to leave your seat or plot of earth and move.
There’s nothing like working hard on your computer, having Word or Excel open in one side of the screen and the other split between the live track action and the timing screens. It feels like you’re getting away with one at work. You’ve got your biggest love on one side and the bill paying mechanism on the other.
Where else can we test new ideas in our reduced testing environment? The Halo, Aero-screen and the Virtual Safety Car have all been tested during Friday practice sessions. With so little other meaningful track time, this seems like the logical place to test and one we need to keep.
Crofty, Davidson, Allen, Gow, Coulthard or Edwards. It doesn’t matter who you listen to or watch, this is when they really earn their money. There can be some really underused track time in FP1 and FP2, especially if it’s raining. We love the idle gossip and chatter which we get during these times. Sometimes it’s the best gossip of the weekend and we wouldn’t have known about it unless it rained and no-one went out on the track.
We remember when practice sessions weren’t broadcast. We just got the qualifying and the race, but we know we are spoilt and like any spoilt child we don’t want it to end. So hands of our FP1 and FP2. We love Fridays.