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FIA dismiss Sochi schedule shuffle was a reaction to Spa washout

FIA dismiss Sochi schedule shuffle was a reaction to Spa washout

F1 News

FIA dismiss Sochi schedule shuffle was a reaction to Spa washout

FIA dismiss Sochi schedule shuffle was a reaction to Spa washout
Ian Parkes & Sam Hall

FIA race director Michael Masi has ruled the schedule changes at the Russian Grand Prix were "not at all" a reaction to the washout at Spa Francorchamps.

On Sunday at the Belgian GP, only a series of laps behind the safety car were completed as F1 battled hopelessly to complete a race in treacherous conditions.

With the forecast painting a similar picture ahead of Saturday in Sochi, the first F3 race was moved to Friday evening in a bid to open up the schedule and allow for flexibility.

Asked if the "more proactive" approach was a direct result of the situation in Belgium, Masi categorically answered: “No, not at all.

"If we look at Saturday for what it was, at earlier in the day, we saw that there was a window that actually looked okay, which is why we brought the F2 cars into pit lane and then obviously that diminished.

“We have always gone by the principle in those types of scenarios to go session by session, which is what we did. Obviously, there were limiting factors.

“With regard to the F3 race being moved to Friday, the conditions looked as they did and probably the overriding factor in that scenario was that it was the last round of the championship and we had the ability to fit it into the programme.

“You’ve got to take all those factors into account but Spa certainly didn’t come into it whatsoever.”

After the Belgian washout, Masi confirmed talks on how to avoid a repeat scenario would take place in October's strategy group meeting.

The meeting was again referenced when Masi was asked whether TV schedules prevented F1 sessions from being pulled forward in extreme weather.

“Not so much TV schedule dependent," Masi added. "It is something we are going to be discussing in the coming weeks.

“We said following Spa that there is a whole lot of strategic discussion that needs to take place between the FIA, F1 and the 10 teams and that is going to be one of the discussions at the strategy group meeting.

“It is not just a pluck-it-out scenario. It is very much we are talking about two completely separate governance structures between the three championships and commercial.

"But just the governance structure before we get into the commercial part, so those discussions will happen in a proactive manner. We will have a look at it and see where we get to.”

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