F1 set to sign off sprint qualifying rules amid parc ferme concerns

Formula 1's sprint qualifying weekend rules are set to be signed off after a meeting to finalise details took place in Austria on Thursday.

F1 set to sign off sprint qualifying rules amid parc ferme concerns

The new format – a 100km race on Saturday that determines Sunday's grid – is so different that the FIA sporting regulations have had to be substantially adjusted to incorporate all the changes.

While the key points were agreed some time ago a few details, notably involving the parc ferme regulations, remained under discussion. They were addressed in today's meeting of team managers and key FIA and F1 personnel.

The concern of some teams is that routine jobs that they usually conduct on a Friday night or Saturday lunchtime now have to be brought forwards, because parc ferme will begin before qualifying on Friday afternoon.

One of the main points is clutch shimming, an operation that some teams usually conduct on Friday evening or Saturday morning in essence to give their clutches extra life for the remainder of the weekend.

The worry is that if the job is not exempted from parc ferme regulations those teams will have to reduce their track mileage for the rest of the weekend, which could compromise running in FP2 on Saturday morning. It's understood that Alpine, McLaren, Aston Martin and Alfa Romeo are among the teams affected by the issue.

Other teams have "longer life" clutches that don't need shimming, but homologation rules as well as a waiting list for orders mean that it's not possible to make a switch during the season.

Read Also:

It's understood that in today's meeting it was agreed that there will be no routine exemption for clutch shimming.

However, teams can fit new clutches under parc ferme regulations, but only if they can show data that indicates excessive wear. They then have to hand the original clutch to the FIA for examination, in effect to prove that the change was necessary.

Another issue is the underside plank, which teams routinely change before qualifying on Saturday in order to reduce the risk of earning a penalty for excessive wear. That job also cannot currently be conducted after the start of qualifying, which will mean Friday lunchtime on a sprint weekend.

However, the outcome of today's discussion was that they cannot be changed.

Speaking before the meeting, F1 managing director Ross Brawn was adamant that any debate today about such details would not derail the plans for the first sprint weekend at Silverstone.

"The rules are pretty definitive," he said. "I mean, the issue of clutches was mentioned in the early days, but I must say it's been fairly quiet lately. So I was intrigued to see it mentioned again, and I think we will talk about that [on Thursday], but the rules have been well defined.

"And the original agenda was a few little details, like how many sets of wets do we get back to Pirelli? And very, very minor details. So there was nothing fundamental.

"And to be clear, if nothing's agreed [in Thursday's meeting], it still goes ahead. There's a set of rules which have gone through the World Motor Sport Council.

"And any little details can be adjustments to that. But the approval process has happened. So there's nothing gonna stop this now."

shares
comments

Related video

Gasly "surprised" F1 clash with Leclerc wasn't investigated

Previous article

Gasly "surprised" F1 clash with Leclerc wasn't investigated

Next article

Austrian GP: Best F1 technical images from the pitlane

Austrian GP: Best F1 technical images from the pitlane
Load comments
The signs that point to F1's rude health Prime

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says Mark Gallagher, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors.

The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat Prime

The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap-one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt Prime

The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming.

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021
British Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

British Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 British Grand Prix will live long in the memory for the dramatic clash between Formula 1's two title protagonists, which opened the door for other drivers to capitalise. One did so in spectacular fashion, while others fluffed their lines

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash Prime

How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash

A poor start for Valtteri Bottas and the lap one clash between Formula 1's 2021 title protagonists gave Charles Leclerc a surprise lead in the British Grand Prix that he almost held to the end. Here's how the Ferrari driver came close to a famous victory, ultimately denied by a recovering Lewis Hamilton three laps from home

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
The signs that suggest Mercedes can win at Silverstone Prime

The signs that suggest Mercedes can win at Silverstone

Red Bull and Max Verstappen scored an early blow against Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes at Silverstone, with sprint qualifying race victory. But that doesn’t mean Sunday’s grand prix is a foregone conclusion. Although Verstappen starts as the favourite, here’s why Mercedes still holds hope of winning

Formula 1
Jul 18, 2021
Uncovering Silverstone's engineering secrets for F1 success Prime

Uncovering Silverstone's engineering secrets for F1 success

Formula 1 returns to Silverstone this weekend, but despite its familiarity to all the teams it is no picnic. Here are five of the key points for engineers to consider prior to the British Grand Prix.

Formula 1
Jul 16, 2021
The 'special relationship' Ferrari will hope to exploit at Silverstone Prime

The 'special relationship' Ferrari will hope to exploit at Silverstone

Ferrari might have snubbed the very first world championship race on British soil but the Scuderia and the UK went on to enjoy some deep connections. As BEN EDWARDS explains, theirs is a shared history that is waiting for its next chapter to be written...

Formula 1
Jul 15, 2021