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McLaren

McLaren plea for key F1 change after Qatar tyre drama

Teams were informed late into the weekend about the safety measures, despite some drivers feeling they were not necessary.

Piastri Russell Leclerc Sainz Race Start Qatar
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McLaren Team Principal Andreas Stella has called for improved communication between the teams, FIA, and Formula 1 after the Qatar Grand Prix tyre drama.

The teams and drivers were informed of radical safety measures late into the weekend after Pirelli engineers found "microscopic" cuts were forming on the tyres when running at high speed over the harsh Lusail International Circuit kerbs.

Several drivers had already noted the aggressive kerb solution, with Yuki Tsunoda branding it a "floor destroyer" leading up to the weekend.

As a result of their findings, the FIA reduced track limits and gave teams an extra 10-minute practice session to familiarise themselves with the changes before heading into the Sprint Shootout.

Mercedes driver George Russell claimed he was informed over WhatsApp about the changes and felt mandated stints were not necessary in the race. He also called for a review of the communication channels between the FIA, F1 and Grand Prix Drivers Association.

Stella: Important to keep key stakeholders in the loop

"Certainly there are opportunities to improve when you have various stakeholders [in charge]," Stella told media, including RacingNews365.

"You face a situation that I'm sure must have been a bit of an emergency after finding some evidence, then the escalation is dealt with at a technical level, then at a sporting level by Pirelli and the FIA.

"I'm sure they must have felt like we needed to deal with this urgently. But at the same time, it's very important that you keep all the key stakeholders in the loop, informed, and you allow them to contribute.

"I think it's an opportunity to review the communication lines. I'm sure everyone is trying their best, there's no doubt from this point of view.

"But we, as key stakeholders, need to keep into account that everyone needs to be informed and everyone needs to be able to contribute - especially the drivers who ultimately go into the car.

"They know exactly what's happening on track, they know how kerbs can be exploited and then allow track to be modified. So a bit of a learning point for the institutions and the people involved."

F1 2023 Qatar Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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