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Sunday, February 25, 2024

The issues related to F1’s new dash format

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The clock is ticking as the primary dash of 2024 is in China on 19-21 April, to be adopted by occasions on the Miami, Austrian, US, Qatar and Brazilian GPs.

Whereas sprints have ramped up curiosity on Fridays, the truth that the FIA and F1 are still tinkering with the format is a sign that they don’t have unanimous help from followers or drivers.

Varied choices for 2024 have been mentioned in latest months within the sporting advisory committee, the discussion board the place rule adjustments are debated and honed, and the model which was accredited in Monday’s F1 Fee assembly in London sees a shuffling of Friday and Saturday exercise.

It means the top of the standalone standing that Saturday had final yr when the shootout was adopted by the dash, and race qualifying was on Friday.

Different eventualities have been additionally thought of for 2024, together with one which had FP1 on Friday adopted instantly by the dash with a grid shaped by a reversed high 10 championship order, after which a Saturday with FP2 adopted by race qualifying.

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One other had a shootout with the highest 10 qualifiers then reversed on the dash grid. To encourage drivers to make a correct effort, reasonably than intentionally attempt to find yourself within the decrease reaches of the highest 10, there was even speak of providing additional factors in qualifying.

Max Verstappen, Purple Bull Racing RB19, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23, Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL60, the remainder of the sector initially of the Dash race

Picture by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

There was additionally a debate about your complete grid being reversed, however that turned moot when – maybe properly given the potential push-back from followers – the entire concept was shelved.

The driving pressure behind the change to the chosen format is parc ferme and an ongoing concern that final yr drivers and groups solely had FP1 to hone a set-up, which was then locked in for qualifying, the dash day, and the race itself.

A workforce may solely make main adjustments by dropping out of parc ferme, obliging the motive force to start out from the pitlane.

The format additionally performed a job within the disqualifications of Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc on the US GP for unlawful plank put on, probably because of the schedule not permitting for adjustments or sufficient time to strive full gas hundreds in FP1.

Few particulars of the brand new model emerged in Monday’s F1 Fee assertion, and that is as a result of they nonetheless need to be debated and agreed on in Friday’s upcoming assembly of the sporting advisory committee.

The essential plan is to have two parcs fermes – the primary is from the shootout to the dash, and the second is from qualifying to the race.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60, Nico Hulkenberg, Haas VF-23, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23, the rest of the field at the start of the Sprint

Sergio Perez, Purple Bull Racing RB19, Max Verstappen, Purple Bull Racing RB19, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60, Nico Hulkenberg, Haas VF-23, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23, the remainder of the sector initially of the Dash

Picture by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

The massive distinction from the earlier format is that groups now have the choice to make set-up and part adjustments between the dash race and important qualifying, and precisely how that may work and what shall be allowed remains to be to be determined.

One of many issues expressed by groups is that whereas they welcome the liberty to make adjustments, it’s going to add to their workload – not simply within the storage but additionally within the engineering room on the monitor and within the simulation departments again of their manufacturing facility, the place there shall be a rush to make use of knowledge from the dash to hone the automobile for qualifying and the race.

The FIA has complained because the begin of the dash period in regards to the additional burden positioned on its officers as they try to watch parc ferme, and shall be hoping any adjustments handle that.

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One other situation with the brand new format is that there’s an apparent threat {that a} severe crash within the dash race may compromise a driver’s probabilities of collaborating within the qualifying session that follows.

To that finish, talks are ongoing about permitting groups to have their spare chassis constructed up and able to a higher extent than was beforehand allowed beneath the foundations, thus giving them an opportunity to completely put together it for qualifying within the quick time accessible.

In a separate transfer, the F1 Fee has upped the annual energy unit allowance per driver from three to 4, taking away among the issues about dash weekends involving extra stress on them.

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