F1 mulling mandatory Friday session for young drivers

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Formula 1 has tabled the idea of making mandatory in the future for all teams to run a young driver affiliated with their junior program in a Friday practice session in a bid to help the sport develop its talent pool.

Several midfield outfits have often entrusted a car to a third driver on Fridays, but with testing mileage onboard current spec cars non-existent during the season, F1's young talent has little or no opportunity to showcase its skills or familiarize itself with F1 machinery.

F1 boss Stefano Domenicali wants to change that situation and plans on discussing the topic with the sport's teams.

"The topic of young drivers is very important and interests us, and that is why, at a time when tests are so regulated, there are some ideas that we will discuss in the next meetings with the teams," said the Italian, quoted by Motorsport.com.

"In particular, we want to make the presence of young drivers mandatory in free practice."

Domenicali underscored two benefits associated with the plan of imposing the presence of a young driver on Fridays.

The rookie chargers would benefit from the experience and exposure, while a restriction of practice time for a the teams' regular driver would perhaps instill a degree of unpredictability for the remainder of the race weekend.

"This will give the teams less time to try things in view of the race, making the event even more exciting," he said.

"But it would also give the juniors the opportunity to try in a dynamic and competitive context. We are talking about it because it is important for the whole F1 supply chain."

Haas team boss Guenther Steiner, who is running two rookie drivers this season, Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin, is receptive to Formula One Management's proposal.

"If you think about it, there is very little opportunity for a non-F1 driver to show what he can do or even sit in an F1 car because the tests are limited," Steiner told the media at Monza.

"Maybe this is something we should entertain.

"I think we have to agree, all of the teams, the FIA and FOM together, if this is the right way forward. But in general, I wouldn’t be opposed... if it comes, it comes."

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