The two Mercedes drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, estimated on Saturday that Formula 1 no longer needed free practice on Friday and therefore that a Grand Prix weekend lasts three days.
Dominating again on Saturday in qualifying, the Briton and the Finn, in pole position for the third time this season and the 14th time in his career, will start on the front row on Sunday at the Eifel GP. They have already won eight out of ten rounds this season.
“I don’t think we need to be on the track on Friday,” Hamilton said on Saturday, when asked about the rain and fog that forced organizers to cancel Friday’s two free practice sessions.
Bottas is of the opinion of his leader: “In a normal weekend (of F1), I think there are too many tests”, he added. “At the end of the day, everyone is able to find the right set-up, but if we spent less time in testing, maybe some riders would have a harder time finding them”.
The Finn even believes that if Mercedes had competed in the two free practice sessions on Friday, the performance gain would have been marginal. And the result is the same as usual this weekend: 72nd monopoly in the front row for the Silver Arrows… now black in honor of the “Black Lives Matter” movement.
For Max Verstappen, the leader of Red Bull, it’s good to be able to work on Friday evening on the results of the first free practice, to work on details, but if there is only one session on Saturday morning , like this weekend at the Nürburgring, “we immediately get into the action and it’s very different”.
This two-day weekend, due to the weather, will in fact serve as a rehearsal for the GP of Emilia-Romagna scheduled for November 1 at the Imola circuit, with a single 90-minute free practice session, Saturday morning.