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The big start-up discussion: Are there breakdown starts in Spa?

The big start-up discussion
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E s is the question of all questions: Is there on Sunday Breakdown starts? The FIA ​​puts the engineers in a straitjacket. When the car leaves the pit lane on Sunday, the clutch pressure point may no longer be changed. And the engineers are also no longer allowed to give their drivers instructions on the radio how to react.

The nonsenseers predict Formula 1 chaos at the start. The drivers see it differently. Nico Hülkenberg doesn't think that everything will turn upside down as a result: 'There will be good and bad starts as before. The difference is that on Sunday we have to live with what we are given. Little changes for me. Me have less work. I don't have to change the pressure point on the way to the start because I can't change it. '

Sebastian Vettel doesn't understand all the excitement:' I wonder why we're doing all this Play the game at all. Maybe there will be a bit more chaos at the start here in Spa and at the next race, but then everything will work itself out again. From then on it will be the same. Jenson Button jokes: 'What will change? You now know before the race whether you will have a good or a bad start.'

The driver can hardly take countermeasures at the start

Fernando Alonso stops the fear of bad starts as a result of the new rules for exaggerated: 'We only did fine-tuning in the formation lap. And the clutch issue was hardly discussed on the radio.'

Nico Rosberg adds: 'On the radio There's still a lot of talk. The brakes and tires have to be brought up to temperature. The engine, on the other hand, mustn't overheat. The clutch issue is no longer applicable. I practiced it in the simulator. Introductory laps on the simulator - to be honest, that wasn't particularly exciting. '

The difference from before is that the drivers are now left to their fate. 'The pressure point was never 100 percent correct. That's why we fine-tuned it before the start. That is no longer possible. You now know whether the clutch engages too sharply or too weakly. In one case, the wheels will be too strong go crazy, otherwise you have too little propulsion ', explains Hülkenberg.

Felipe Massa adds:' If the pressure point is not right, you will get away worse in the first few meters. The question is how much we do then be able to correct with the second clutch lever. I believe that we will only experience thishave to judge that. 'Hülkenberg also sees it this way:' You can counter-steer a bit with the second clutch lever and the accelerator pedal. But the possibilities are limited. '

Lotus chief engineer Alan Permane confirms:' The driver can only take marginal countermeasures. If he gives less gas or more clutch slip with the right pedal, it will take its toll later in the acceleration process. The current technology is too complicated for the driver to have it in hand. Only when we only have one clutch pedal, as we did next year, will the driver play the main role again at the start. '

Driver -Coaching on the grid

That's not enough for the engineers. Although they are forbidden to coach their drivers on the way to the grid by radio, they are already thinking about how to avoid it found out that the radio ban for driving through the pit does not apply because the pit lane is not a race track.

That is why we will hear a lot of instructions on the subject of the clutch pressure point on the laps on the starting grid on the 387 meters through the pit lane. Mercedes -Team manager Ron Meadows warns: 'Because of the high fuel consumption, you can't do too many laps through the pit lane.'

Then of course there is also the possibility to talk to the drivers when they are on the starting grid leave their cars . But this time is also limited because the drivers give TV interviews and have to be at the starting position for the national anthem.

Hülkenberg sees no problem in the stopped flow of information: I can tell myself whether the pressure point is wrong. So far I've only got a reinsurance from the engineer. If I'm not allowed to move the pressure point anyway, I don't need any information. 'Button provides the punch line again:' The engineer used to remind me of what to do 10 seconds before the start. Now I have to remember it for 10 minutes. '


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