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Saturday, February 24, 2024

F1’s new dash format will rob groups of key long term information

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Following approval at this week’s F1 Fee assembly, this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix will witness a revamped schedule.

Saturday’s working can be fully standalone from the remainder of the weekend, with there being a dash shootout qualifying session within the morning adopted by the brief race within the afternoon.

The change signifies that groups will lose the traditional Saturday morning free apply session the place they’ve historically gathered their long term information to assist with tyre methods for the race.

Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin says shedding that further hour of apply will compromise race preparations specifically.

“Once you’ve solely received FP1, it is virtually unattainable to condense all the standard learnings throughout Friday and Saturday into one session,” he stated.

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“You lose the chance to concentrate on the long term and you have got to consider what the true priorities are.”

Mercedes sporting director Ron Meadows reckoned that one of many penalties of the revamp was that groups must sacrifice quite a lot of what they usually do in apply.

He stated: “Will probably be very difficult for the engineers and drivers to seek out the optimum set-up for each qualifying and heavy race gasoline trim.

“We might want to maximise the variety of laps in FP1, so we seemingly will not be planning on making set-up modifications that sap working time for the drivers. It is a new manner of working for all of the groups and supplies a good quantity of alternative to excel.”

George Russell, Mercedes W13, Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT03

Picture by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

The condensed motion will even enhance the dangers of there being incidents.

Meadows added: “The brand new format will not trigger large modifications to how the storage personnel function over the weekend. Nevertheless, while you add periods that require one hundred pc assault from the drivers and each lap issues to advance by to the subsequent stage, you at all times run the danger of a crash.”

Shovlin additionally thinks that the best way there isn’t a apply build-up to qualifying will make the Saturday morning shoot out fairly difficult.

And though drivers are restricted to utilizing only one set of tyres in every of the Saturday qualifying periods, Shovlin doesn’t suppose it is going to be practical to count on most efficiency on a single lap.

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“The drivers will go straight right into a qualifying session on Saturday, which could be very uncommon,” stated Shovlin. “It is a tall order to count on the drivers to ship a single-lap efficiency instantly so I think everybody will go for multi-lap runs.

“The medium tyre can deal with a number of laps however with out having a number of units obtainable, there is a greater probability of getting unfortunate with a pink flag for instance. I feel everybody will get out on monitor and get busy making an attempt to place laps in.”

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