For the first time ever, F1 added a sprint race session to the race weekend at the British Grand Prix, and it was undeniably a success. However, in the background, this makeover led to massive confusion amongst the teams, including Mercedes, as the session timings over the weekend were all over the place.
During the Mercedes’ usual debrief, James Allison revealed how tough the weekend at Silverstone was for the crew. He reckoned it felt like the whole team was out of ‘kilter’ all weekend.
And of course, his concerns were quite reasonable, considering the numerous changes F1 made to the British GP, with FP1 and Sunday’s main race, the only two sessions that stuck to their usual timings.
What did Mercedes F1 say?
Mercedes‘ chief technical director, James, opened up that it was a different work-list for the weekend at Silverstone. Hence, he reckoned he constantly had a nagging feeling that he was missing a meeting throughout the weekend.
“We are used to FP1, FP2 on a Friday, then a certain work programme on the car. Then, FP3 in the morning, qualifying and then race on Sunday. That’s engrained in the race team in a way that it is sort of down deep in their bones,” he said.
“And so, coming into a race weekend where instead, the sessions are all at different times. The work-list in between sessions, a different work-list, not more difficult work-list, just a different work-list. It meant everyone felt just off-balance all weekend.
“It made everyone think, ‘crikey, should I be somewhere else? Is there a meeting I’m supposed to be at that I have forgotten? Have I broken curfew? Am I just now where I’m supposed to be?’ There was a feeling of just being out of kilter all weekend,” James added.
When is the next sprint race?
There is yet to be an official announcement from F1 regarding when and where the next sprint race will be taking place at. However, as of now, reports suggest that Monza could be one of the two circuits that will host the sprint race this season.
Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 17, 2021 General view at the start of sprint qualifying REUTERS/Peter Cziborra
Hence, considering the Italian GP is just two race weekends away, the likelihood of F1 setting out their official announcement soon is high.
So, after marginally losing out to Red Bull over the first-ever sprint race, can Mercedes come back stronger for the remaining two sprint events? Only time will tell.
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