E It was only on Thursday that the planned change to the Grand Prix schedule came to light, one day later the ideas were picked up again by those responsible. The FIA proposal was developed under pressure from F1 bosses to reduce the stress on team members. Which in turn should help to increase the number of races in the calendar.
The idea: The technical inspection should be postponed from Thursday to Friday morning. The free practice sessions move into Friday afternoon. And in order to prevent costly last-minute updates, the cars are no longer allowed to be fitted with modified parts for the entire race weekend. There is a kind of parc fermé from the first training session.
The latter rule in particular does not meet with approval from Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff. “I don't know of any racing series in which it is forbidden to change the cars during a race weekend. And I don't think we should start with that here in Formula 1, the top class of motorsport. ”
Parc Fermé doesn't provide more variety
The Austrian warns of the unpredictable Consequences: “That could lead to a lot of penalties if cars have to be rebuilt after a crash. This is also counterproductive when it comes to the question of how we can make Formula 1 more unpredictable. We'll put more effort into simulation tools and try to make the cars more stable because we know that we won't be allowed to take them apart for three days. ”
Toro Rosso colleague Franz Tost cannot make friends with the new ideas either. The compatriot von Wolff just doesn't see the benefit: “I don't think it'll make much difference. We'd better see howwe can improve the show, reduce costs and distribute the income more fairly. Those are the important points. ”
According to Tost, the measure does not help to increase the number of races. When asked whether the burden for the employees and their families was not becoming too great, the 63-year-old replied dryly: “I am not interested in the families. The year has 52 weeks. We can drive 26 races there. It is important that we get the money for the races. '
More races, higher income
Toto Wolff showed a little more compassion for his employees:' The racing team is already working on the limit. I don't think much more than 21 races is possible. Otherwise you have to introduce a second layer. We have already started with the rotation principle, but it is well known that the management staff cannot be changed that easily
Wolff sees the F1 bosses in a dilemma for another reason: “Formula 1 is also about exclusivity . And having more races doesn't help in this regard. On the other hand, we always ask Liberty to increase revenue, which of course is easiest to achieve with more races. We have to find the right balance. ”
If you decide to increase the number of races, then it should be really worthwhile, according to Wolff. “In my opinion, it only makes sense if we use it to improve the income situation, drive on spectacular new racetracks and open up new markets. Those are the important factors. ”