FIA finalises rule changes for Imola’s two-day schedule

The FIA World Motor Sport Council has approved changes to the Formula 1 sporting regulations that are tailored for the first ever two-day grand prix weekend in Imola.

Many of the changes relate to the timing of regular elements of the weekend schedule that have had to be moved.

The single free practice session on Saturday morning will last for 90 minutes, and it will be separated from the start of qualifying by a 2.5-hour gap.

There will be two drivers’ briefings, with the first in the standard late Friday slot, essentially to talk about any matters resulting from Portimao.

However, because there will have been no track action a second meeting has been added to the lunch break on Saturday, so that drivers can give any feedback on the circuit between the single free practice session and qualifying.

The curfew rules have also been adjusted to reflect the fact that that is just one restricted period, overnight on Friday, instead of the usual two.

The rule that obliges anyone changing chassis after FP3 to start from the pitlane has been changed to FP1.

With no Friday action, each driver will have 10 rather than 13 sets of dry tyres, namely two sets of hards, two mediums, and six softs. Three sets have to be returned after FP1.

FIA race director Michael Masi acknowledged in Portimao that a lot of work was required to adjust for the new format.

“The sporting regulations for a two-day event have been voted or finalised through the World Motor Sport Council,” he said. “They have required a significant amount of change to facilitate a two-day event.

“And it’s compressing everything, because effectively what has occurred is all of Friday’s normal activity has been removed. Even some of the elements of scheduling, of drivers’ briefings and so forth, that normally happen after the first day of practice.

“There will be let’s call it a drivers’ briefing of a form on Friday night, which will take place to deal with any elements effectively from this event and other matters of note.

“And then after practice one, the only free practice session, there’s another one scheduled to discuss any circuit specific matters that may have come up.

“It’s going to certainly be interesting to see, and something I’m looking forward to. And I know having spoken to a number of the team managers that they are too. It’s just something completely different.”

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