Lewis Hamilton pitched his idea for a "switch-up" of the Formula One weekend format after Shanghai's Friday practice was limited to just 20 minutes due to weather conditions, something he thinks could be a "blessing in disguise" if it forces a change to be made.
Hamilton turned fan entertainer on Friday afternoon after heavy fog limited the day's practice sessions to just 20 minutes, all of which took place in FP1. FP2 did not run at all, with the low visibility meaning the medical helicopter would not have been able to land at the nearest hospital if it had been required.
Hamilton spent the final half hour of what was supposed to be FP2 stood underneath the main grandstand, signing Mercedes caps and throwing them up to the fans above, all of which he documented on social media in the process.
The Mercedes driver has been a long-time advocate of a shake-up and soon took to Twitter to suggest Formula One's new owners Liberty Media use the delayed session to consider tweaks to the current format -- which currently consists of [free practice] FP1 and FP2 on Friday, FP3 and qualifying on Saturday, followed by the grand prix on Sunday.
So sorry for all u either watching on TV or here at the track. We must find a solution to deal with weather issue.— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) April 7, 2017
Sat program: 3 practice sessions, qualifying Sunday morning and then race. Who's down for the switch up?— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) April 7, 2017
It is unclear whether Hamilton was proposing a complete overhaul of the weekend or a contingency plan for weekends where Friday's are lost due to weather or extenuating circumstances.
Liberty's new motor racing chief Ross Brawn has already suggested introducing a non-championship race to the calendar so F1 can experiment with different race formats without overshadowing a world championship grand prix.