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GP Week : 29-Apr-2008
GPWEEK OPINION >> Thankfully testing in F1 has been heavily restricted of late, and this is, from a cost and competitive viewpoint, no bad thing. The silence on Friday morning did, however, give us all reason to discuss the age-old topic of the two day Grand Prix. “Let them test as much as they want,” someone piped up. “Then, let’s just have a warm up, go qualifying and have a proper race.” “No way. A full day of testing, 9am to 6pm, and then qualify and race on the same day. That’d bring costs down too!” someone else retorted. Either way, general consensus agreed that a silent track is never a good thing at a race weekend. As the Formula 1 World Championship expands its horizons to ever further flung destinations, and the calendar grows year on year, calls for a reduced weekend will grow. What nobody wants is to reduce the show, or to short-change the fee-paying public who attend the races. It benefits nobody, least of all the decision makers who need a proper product to sell. As the sport attempts to keep its costs in check, and yet maintain a sellable product, all manner of ideas have been thrown into the melting pot – not least a GP2 style dual race weekend format with a reverse grid for the second race. I’m a big fan of GP2. But I’m a purist too. I want to see a proper race, and a proper weekend. I want to see sessions that mean something, and races that excite. I don’t want a two day weekend. But with an ever growing calendar, costs that need to be kept in check, and the creeping realisation that increased time on track might actually decrease the prospect of an exciting race… It’s something which isn’t a million miles away from being a genuine consideration. 19