Ross Brawn has confirmed that F1 and the FIA intend to impose the presence of young drivers behind the wheel of single-seaters from next season during the first free practice session of certain Grands Prix.
Formula 1 intends to make room for the new generation. While the paddock has rejuvenated in recent years with drivers such as Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc or Lando Norris, this movement could take on a whole new scale from the 2022 season. Indeed, while some teams, notably Williams and Alfa Romeo Racing, take advantage of the first free practice session of the Grand Prix to offer less experienced drivers the opportunity to drive an F1 car, which also allows ‘obtain a financial contribution to their budget, this practice should be made compulsory from next season on a number of weekends yet to be defined. » On Friday, each team will have to field a rookie in free practice 1, and we have a very specific definition of rookie.. Let’s wait and see what that definition will be, said Ross Brawn, F1 sporting director on the sidelines of the Italian Grand Prix. I think that from next year, each team will have to involve a young driver in a certain number of events.. »
The stables approve the project
While, for several seasons, the teams had the opportunity to field a third single-seater in free practice, the cost reduction has been there. Such a possibility is now ruled out and it will therefore be up to the incumbents to make room for young people.. However, some teams do not have a detection and training program in place, including McLaren and Aston Martin. This will not be a problem, however, according to Andreas Seidl, boss of the Woking team. » We’re talking about two or three sessions for next year, so that’s a good place to start. But I think we will also be satisfied to see this figure increase in the years to come, said the latter in comments collected by the British magazine. Autosport. It’s good that this is mandatory, because from a sporting point of view, everyone will be on an equal footing. It is for this reason that we have supported this project. An obligation which must however be combined with the possible desire of F1 to continue experimenting with sprint races, which make the first free practice session crucial for defining the settings of the single-seaters.