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Shovlin explains impact of 2022 race weekend format on F1 teams

2021 Mexican Grand Prix, Thursday – Jiri Krenek. Credits: Mercedes.

Andrew Shovlin has revealed how the revised race weekend format will affect the Formula 1 teams in the upcoming season.

The Formula 1 race weekend format will be changed in 2022. The race weekends will now start on Friday instead of Thursday (Wednesday in the case of the Monaco GP). More than that, practice sessions will take place later in the day compared to 2021.

Shovlin has spoken about the challenges that have been created by the modifications.

“The race weekend format itself changes quite considerably,” the Mercedes trackside engineering director said in the ‘Road to 2022’ video.

“The purpose there is trying to give the teams less time to work on the cars, [and] give them more time away from the track.

“So this is really coming from the fact [that] the calendar is getting busier and busier, they’re adding more and more races, and we need to make sure that we’re not working people too hard.

“The weekend starts later. The biggest changes are actually on Friday, where the first [practice] session’s at two o’clock, and the final session’s at five o’clock, running from five o’clock to six o’clock, and in Europe, the track’s going to be cooling down at that time of day, and then you’ve got much less time on the evening.

“You’ve only got three hours where the mechanics will be working on the car [on Friday evening].

“The teams will be allowed to stay in the offices for five hours, but actually that’s still giving us quite a lot less time than we’ve normally got.

“In that period, you’re trying to get the car’s specification finalized, you’re trying to collate all the learning from the running that day, trying to refine the set-up, and come up with the base set-up that you’re going to carry into Saturday and into qualifying.

“Once you’re into Saturday and Sunday, the format’s actually very similar, so the big challenge will just be adapting to that new layout on Friday.”

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