Max Verstappen f1
BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - NOVEMBER 29: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB16 on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit on November 29, 2020 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202011290423 // Usage for editorial use only //

F1 Friday practice cut by one hour for 2021 season

Red Bull

Formula 1 has reduced the two Friday free practice sessions from 90 minutes to one hour ahead of the 2021 season.

New regulations published by the FIA revealed the change, with the overall amount of practice time afforded to the teams across a Grand Prix weekend cut from four hours to three.

The sport experimented with a two-day weekend during the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola last season and the new rules will apply at all 23 races during the extended 2021 campaign.

The one-hour Saturday free practice session will remain unchanged.

“Two free practice sessions (P1 and P2), each lasting one hour and separated by at least two and a half hours, will take place on the the second day of the event,” read the updated regulations.

In response to the change, McLaren head of strategy and sporting Randy Singh wrote on Twitter: “Lots of questions about F1 next year – the Sporting Regulations were signed off a while ago. Big change is FP1 and FP2 are now 1 hour long each. Tyres to be selected by Pirelli for teams for at least 2021 also.”

Next season will also see changes to the technical regulations, with the FIA mandating alterations to the floor, diffusers and brake ducts in an attempt to reduce downforce.