F1: FIA ends risk of teams skipping practice

(GMM) F1’s governing body has neutralized a risk that up to three teams could have sat out practice sessions ahead of the British GP.

After Sunday’s race in Austria, Formula 1 moves onto Silverstone – where the trial of the new ‘sprint qualifying’ weekend format will begin.

But Aston Martin, Alpine and McLaren had all reportedly warned that with parc ferme pushed forward to Friday, their clutch designs would not cope with having to last an entire race weekend.

“If the FIA doesn’t give in, we might have to skip a practice session, which I can’t imagine was the intention of the regulator,” Alpine’s sporting director Alan Permane warned.

#31 Esteban Ocon Alpine. Formula 1 World championship 2021, Styrian GP 2021, 24-27 June 2021

According to Aston Martin boss Otmar Szafnauer, the FIA did indeed relent.

“We have to present the replacement clutch with the machined carbon discs to the FIA before the weekend,” he is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport.

“When we get the first clutch out of the car, it will be checked to see whether it is identical in structure to the spare part. It will be handled like car damage after an accident,” Szafnauer revealed.

The rule modification is effective only for the rest of 2021.