Scrutineering (originally weigh-in in French) is a rather quaint word! It goes back to the dawn of motor racing when the ‘verifs’ or the Anglo-Saxon word ‘scrutineering’ had not yet even been invented!
Whatever! During the two days the ten or so scrutineers will do much more than just weigh the cars or take a close look at them. It’s a long job combining patience and rigour to check that all those entered comply with the technical regulations.
The operations are spread over three stations. At the first the car is weighed on a horizontal platform equipped with lasers to measure its main dimensions (width, length, overhangs, wheelbase, wing height, shark’s fin, dimensions of the holes cut in the wings). This platform is also mounted on a scales and weighs the cars.
At the last station the bodywork is partially removed to inspect the safety equipment (extinguishers, belts, circuit breakers, hybrid system, etc) the fuel tank, the engine oil fumes venting tank.
The positions of the stickers are also checked and the timekeepers ensure that the transponder and the lights indicating the car’s position in its category are working. Finally, the data acquisition system in each car is scrupulously verified.
In total, scrutineering lasts around 50 minutes for each car. In the meantime, the drivers in their driving suits go through administrative checks in which their licences, driver suits, helmets and all their equipment, which must comply with the FIA standards, are verified.
They are also weighed so that the figure can be deducted from the weight of the car during the checks carried out in qualifying. They then take part in various communications exercises (individual photos, photos of the teams with the cars, interviews with the press) and the eagerly-awaited autograph session with the general public.