Imola two-day GP format a work in progress

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Imola two-day GP format a work in progress

Formula 1

Imola two-day GP format a work in progress

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The return of Formula 1 to Imola this year will be as a two-day race weekend, but the final details have yet to be confirmed.

F1 has announced major calendar changes as it looks to complete its 2020 schedule, with all four races in the Americas — United States, Canada, Mexico and Brazil — dropped from this year’s plans. Three races have been confirmed at the Nurburgring, Portimao and Imola instead, with the latter of those seeing a race weekend format change.

At present, all grands prix take place over three days of track running, with two 90-minute free practice sessions being held on Friday (with the exception of Monaco, where free practice is held on Thursday). After those initial sessions, a further one-hour of practice is held on Saturday before qualifying, with the race on Sunday.

However, Imola will see track running condensed to Saturday and Sunday only, with the event taking place on October 31-November 1. While the change has been announced as part of the latest calendar update and only one practice session on Saturday before qualifying is expected, the final format has yet to be confirmed by the FIA.

F1 has been keen to try different race weekend formats in order to be more flexible with future calendar plans, as the sport is looking to holding up to 25 races per season. Two-day race weekends would make such plans more feasible as personnel would have more time to set up and pack down between back-to-back events.

The addition of Imola — to be called the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix — ensures three races will take place in Italy for the first time, as the Italian Grand Prix at Monza and the Tuscan Grand Prix at Mugello will take place on back-to-back weekends in September. F1 has previously hosted three races in one country in the United States back in 1982, holding events at Long Beach, Detroit and Las Vegas.

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