Debate: Friday Man

Kazuki Nakajima, Williams-Toyota, Melbourne, 2007Another tweak to the Friday driver rules are being proposed following new revisions made to them over the winter.

This year, teams can run two cars on Friday and one of them, if they choose, can be driven by a test driver. So far only BMW and Williams have taken advantage of that, most teams not wishing to disadvantage their race drivers’ track time.

But now Bernie Ecclestone is suggesting that it be compulsory for one of the drivers used on Friday to be a test driver. Often I can appreciate both sides of an argument but this is an idea I am dead set against.

Why on earth should one driver in a team be forced to miss out on valuable track time at a given race?

I cannot understand why BMW and Williams have chosen to run test drivers on Friday and I certainly don’t think teams should be forced into doing it.

Especially at new circuits, such as Fuji Speedway this year, it would be a tremendous disadvantage to the driver left out. Late in a season, if two drivers in the same team were competing for the championship, it could cause enormous difficulties.

It would be terribly damaging for Formula 1 if this kind of rule paved the way for more teams to run essentially one-driver teams where the second man is forced to slavishly support the championship bid of the other.

If anything, I would like to see the option for teams to run test drivers on Friday rescinded, or at least changed so that both their race drivers can also get track time.

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6 comments on Debate: Friday Man

  1. What business is it of the FIA’s anyway? As with so many of their rule changes these days, this is nothing more than meddling in matters that should be no concern of theirs. I am beginning to suspect that Bernie is going a bit senile in his old age…

  2. Number 38 said on 12th April 2007, 15:42

    Friday drivers……another of my favorite subjects! I agree with Keith in one sense, requiring the use of a third driver at the expense of a race drivers time is ludicrious, BUT…..my version of the game would allow all three drivers and all three cars to participate, let’s face it all three are at very event, why not use all three? Furthermore I would dispense with the supporting events that burn up track time, and Saturday have a 3rd driver RACE, maybe 15 laps, no fuel or tyre stops, probably more of a sprint race but far more entertaining that some of the acts that fill the program and frankly USEFULL as it would serve as training for rookies, the data would still be usefull to the teams and there would be added value to the ticket holder. What say you?

  3. Like Number 38 says, except I wonder why they don’t just allow three cars again, and consider letting all three of them race (or qualify and make the cut.)

  4. Journeyer said on 12th April 2007, 23:12

    Why don’t they just allow 3 cars again? Well, the FIA (again) says it is to cut unneccessary costs (again). But a 3rd car is a bit pricey, I think, around a couple million of dollars.

    Why don’t they let all 3 race, for that matter? I’m pretty sure it’s to ensure all 11 (or 12) teams can race come race day. Otherwise, we might be left with 8 3-car teams in the race, and only 3 teams scoring points. But a Ferrari 1-2-3 would be wonderful. :)

    I think 3rd cars should come back. After all, it played a significant role in (re-)launching the careers of Kubica, Davidson, Wurz, Liuzzi, Speed, and de la Rosa. Without it, it’s hard for the fans (and the paddock) to see who has real potential.

  5. Nathan Jones said on 13th April 2007, 8:29

    i agree that we should use 3rd cars! let the test drivers try to beat the main guys!
    the 3rd driver race for me is a bad idea as it wont be shown on tv here (aus)! this is the 1st year we get quali on tv here apart from melbourne gp!

  6. Number 38 said on 13th April 2007, 17:01

    Hey Nathan…….a 3rd driver race would be a “bad idea” just because you won’t get it on Australian TV ?????? Cost cutting? Hey! The 3rd car and driver are already there, and as many times as MadMax has cried for ‘cost cutting’ he hasn’t saved any team a dollar, a pound, a franc, a mark, opps ……a Euro !!!! Letting all three race at once…..that COULD be worked out, the two best from each team scoring for the team, or something like that. Guys, if we OPEN our minds and consider ALL prospects many things could be done that are better than the current scheme. I’m sure the 6 of us who commented here could come to some agreement in the end but then there’s ………..Bernie and MadMax……..let’s face it night races so they broadcast at daytime in Europe??? That’s a BUSINESS decision concerning TV revenues, their concerns are so remote from IMPROVING the sport that realistic discussion is impossible.

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