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Formula 1 in Japan and America with long free practice sessions

( – At the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka and the USA Grand Prix in Austin, Formula 1’s second free practice sessions will last 90 minutes instead of 60 minutes. This was announced by Pirelli’s race manager Mario Isola at Zandvoort.

There will be more practice action on Friday in Austin and Suzuka

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He offers tire tests for extended practice sessions. Pirelli is working on overhauling the tires for 2023, focusing on a more robust front to eliminate the understeer characteristics of the current design.

It was decided to extend the second free practice session in Suzuka and Austin to collect initial data. If one of these sessions is affected by rain, an FT2 alternative will be available at the Mexican Grand Prix.

“The process will be the same as a normal FT2 for the teams,” assures Isola. “I believe the current plan has a good solution for now. Of course it’s the first time, and we’ll have to see if it works or not.”

Too much training time also affects running performance

“But the idea is that in the future all these types of tests will be available. In the Europa season, after a few races on Tuesday or Wednesday, some teams could use a proper tire test.”

Alexander Alban

Pirelli wants to go head-to-head with new tires

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An extension of two sessions means that effectively one more FT is completed than originally planned. This has further consequences, especially in terms of the mileage of the power unit components. Currently, only three combustion engines, turbochargers, MGUH and MGUK units can be used per season.

“It’s complicated because every time you find a solution, you run into problems with the solution. The idea of ​​using a second free training session is a good idea: you don’t force teams to go somewhere else, you don’t force them to stay on track for too long,” says Isola. .

“But you have to use the same car for the weekend, with the same engine, so mileage is an issue. Every time we come up with an idea, we have to discuss it for weeks to find the final solution that works.”