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Mercedes highlight new challenge F1 teams are set to face

With the F1 race weekend schedule changing in 2022, Mercedes have given an insight into how this will affect their preparations.

Hamilton Brazilië
To news overview © Mercedes

Mercedes have explained the challenges that they face from changes being made to the F1 weekend format.

In the 2022 season, Friday's schedule will look a little different, with practice sessions beginning later in the day. This in turn means that there will be less time in the evening for the team to work on the car.

Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director at the Silver Arrows, admits that the change is quite significant.

"The race weekend format itself changes quite considerably," Shovlin said in the fourth part of Mercedes' 'Road to 2022' explainer video series.

"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 the 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."

Teams will have less time to prepare

Given the multiple tasks that the teams have to fit in after Friday's practice sessions, Shovlin thinks this will require a lot of adaptation.

"You've only got three hours where the mechanics will be working on the car [on Friday evening]," he explained.

"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 finalised, 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."

Mercedes will launch their 2022 car, the W13, on 18 February ahead of the season getting underway in Bahrain on 18-20 March.

Also interesting:

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With huge changes being made to the F1 rule book for 2022, our journalists Dieter Rencken, Mike Seymour and Thomas Maher look ahead to the new season.


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