As Romain Grosjean sat out Friday practice early in Shanghai, he said he understands the financial pressures on F1 teams.
Temporarily in his Lotus cockpit in China is Briton Jolyon Palmer, the reigning GP2 champion and son of the former grand prix driver Jonathan.
According to sources, it will not be 24-year-old Palmer’s only Friday outing in 2015.
Frenchman Grosjean, yet to open his or the Enstone team’s points account this season, said he understands the reasons for having to sit out practice.
“Today, it is not easy to get into F1 so we see more and more drivers using Friday practice to prove themselves, to show they are there,” he told RMC Sport.
“This is not ideal for the racing drivers as we lose an hour and a half of practice and we are not delighted to be giving up our ‘baby’,” said Grosjean.
“But we have an economic reality today that means F1 is not easy. And the teams need to look at every possible solution to finance the budgets,” he added. (GMM)