Bottas and Hamilton query amount of F1 practice needed

Mercedes drivers Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton have queried the amount of practice running normally allocated at Formula 1 events after the cancelled opening sessions at the Eifel Grand Prix. 

Bottas and Hamilton query amount of F1 practice needed

FP1 and FP2 were abandoned on Friday as the medical helicopter was unable to travel to its designated receiving hospitals in the event of an emergency due to low cloud and heavy fog, with the Nurburgring soaked by rain throughout the day. 

After the FIA implemented a new trauma transfer plan overnight, as reported by Motorsport.com, the event was able to get underway on Saturday, with only the one-hour FP3 session available for the teams to get prepared ahead of qualifying. 

When asked about the impact of the lost running, Hamilton said “I don’t think we need to be in on Fridays, so it was totally fine for me”, while Bottas explained why he preferred the curtailed weekend after clinching pole ahead of his teammate. 

“It’s so difficult to say a number [on how much he’d have gone in qualifying with the normal amount of practice], but for sure that no doubt the more practice you have you [can work to] get all the fine details right,” said Bottas. 

“Especially Friday, you have the whole night between the sessions to look at things and learn about things from the car and driver.  

"So I think with more practice, we’d have been a tiny bit quicker. I can’t say a number, but honestly I think currently in a normal weekend, I feel like there’s too much practice.  

“Everyone finds their ways and set-ups and the optimal things in terms of driving and the car set-up, but if there would be a bit less practice, maybe some teams can get it right, some drivers can get it right and some don’t.  

“So I kind of like it with a bit less practice.” 

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Max Verstappen, who wound up third behind the Mercedes drivers having led them at times during qualifying for Red Bull, said “for sure you would go a little bit faster” and explained how the lack of Friday running impacted drivers’ mindsets early in FP3.  

“Especially when you have like little issues or whatever, you can go over it through a whole night,” he added. 

“You can feedback on it in the factories as well - work on the simulator and stuff.  

“But overall, like Valtteri said, we have a lot of practice, so you also take your time to settle in [usually].  

“Now, it's only one session, so you're like straightaway on it a bit more I think than what you would normally do in FP1 or whatever.  

“It evens out a bit but there are little things that can always be improved.” 

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