How F1 teams have to adapt to COVID-19 garage protocols

Racing Point Formula 1 technical director Andrew Green says routine pit garage jobs will take longer as a result of the new restrictions during race weekends.

How F1 teams have to adapt to COVID-19 garage protocols

Lance Stroll gave the RP20 a run in what was officially a 100kms promotional event, but the team also took the opportunity to prepare for the start of the season by trialling the social distancing and PPE requirements that are now mandated by the FIA for race weekends.

Green believes that for example a power unit change could take twice as long as it would in normal circumstances, and stresses that the emphasis for all teams will now be on efficiency and reliability throughout race weekend.

"It's very different, and it's going to be a real challenge going forward," said Green. "It's basically down to respecting the distance between engineers when they are working on the car, and the type of personal protection they have to wear.

"That effectively changes the time it takes to do jobs on the car. Certain jobs now take a lot longer, and we have to manage that. We only have a certain amount of time trackside to work on the car when we're in a race environment, and we have curfews in place.

"So we have to now look at how long it takes to change and modify parts on the car that we would normally do, reschedule them so we make sure that we are doing what we're doing what we need to do during a race weekend, and not contravening the curfew regulations. That's a big part of what we were trying to learn yesterday."

Read Also:

Green highlighted unscheduled power unit changes as now being much harder – and that could mean a driver misses an afternoon session if he has a technical problem in the morning.

"We hope we don't have to do one in a hurry, that's for sure! I suspect changing an engine now will take twice as long as it used to. Only certain members of the crew are working on the car at any one time, and that really does limit the speed at which you can do a power unit change. Depending when a power unit is required, it's going to be very challenging.

"What you don't want to do is try and do too much in a weekend now, that's the clear message that we've got out of it. We've got to be really careful that we focus on the important part of the weekend, get that done right, get that done efficiently, and then you look at all the other areas. It just focuses your attention much more.

"It's more a case of making sure that the car is built correctly, and robustly, so that we don't have to go in and change things that we wouldn't normally want to change.

"So reliability is going to be a key factor in keeping things running super smoothly. Once you get a big reliability issue then that's going start putting strain on the team, to get parts repaired or modified in time."

Green also suggested that the drivers have to be even more wary than usual about accidents: "We've got two drivers who should be aware that if they do go off during a practice session and do a lot of damage it potentially could take a lot longer to repair. I think they'll be well aware of that."

Green says that although Racing Point is one of the teams in a position to run a car at a circuit before Austria, it won't have a particular advantage.

"Not really. It was a very limited exposure to this type of working. You can attempt to do a lot of work at the factory, if you wanted to, it was just trying to put it in a live environment.

"It was definitely a big learning morning, we're on a steep learning curve, and we'll make modifications over the next few events to suit. It did give us a real heads-up on how challenging race weekends are going to be whilst we're trying to run the car.

"I think some teams will have different approaches. Not everyone works with Mercedes power units, and I have no idea what the protocol is for a Renault power unit, or a Ferrari power unit, so there are going to be differences.

"We're trying to adapt with the team that we're working with. Maybe some teams will end up being slightly more efficient, because of the way that they've adopted."

Lance Stroll, Racing Point RP19, is returned to the garage

Lance Stroll, Racing Point RP19, is returned to the garage

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

shares
comments
Why McLaren has joined Williams in hunt for new owners
Previous article

Why McLaren has joined Williams in hunt for new owners

Next article

Albon: "Special" fan connection will transfer to real life

Albon: "Special" fan connection will transfer to real life
Load comments
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021