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Mercedes "still working out" new F1 timetable

Mercedes "still working out" new F1 timetable

F1 News

Mercedes "still working out" new F1 timetable

Mercedes "still working out" new F1 timetable

Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin has conceded the team is still "working out" and "adapting" to the new F1 weekend timetable.

The ever-expanding F1 calendar has led to increased calls for the sport to take care of both the physical and mental health of team personnel.

Although the workloads of an individual can only be dictated by the teams, the sport has acted to further restrict the number of hours personnel can spend working in the paddock at each event by expanding the existing curfews.

"Thursday, we used to be able to start whenever we wanted but now there is a start and an end time to that," explained Shovlin.

"That gives you an 11-hour day which, for a day at the circuit, that is actually quite a short day, and also on a Thursday you are not allowed to fire up the power unit until 4pm in Europe.

"And again, you are going to be finishing at 8pm on a normal Thursday, so that preparation time, the time to build the cars has been much constrained.

"After qualifying, another shrinking of the time available, where the mechanics, by the time they get the cars back from the FIA, will only have a matter of half-an-hour before the covers are on.

"It does give us more free time at the weekend. You're not working such long hours and everyone can get a bit more sleep.

"But at the moment we are still adapting to those changes and working out how to organise the workflow around the weekend."

F1 curfew - What is the knock-on effect for teams?

For the first time, Wednesday is also subject to a curfew this year meaning the set-up of the garages must also take place within these restrictions.

The major effect for teams, however, is there is now even less time to fit upgrades.

"It's a lot harder to bring bits in late," added Shovlin.

"You've really got to know what you're going to be building into those cars and have them there from Wednesday because that is the only way that you can get the cars ready for Thursday night and ready to run for Friday.

"That same theme continues into the Friday and the Saturday. On the Friday night, we have got, again, less time to work on the cars so the mechanics have only got three hours after running and then the covers need to be on.

"The engineers have an extra couple of hours and the reason that was done in the regulations was to avoid the temptation to go and set up an office in a hotel room where you would then be talking about the run plan or any of the changes that you might make.

"But again, that is a lot less than we have had before. If the car is not done on Friday night you're going to be working on it on Saturday morning and, worst case, it wouldn't be ready for FP3."

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