One of many main adjustments to Method 1 rules in 2021 was the slashing of Half-hour off every of the primary two follow periods of the weekend, leaving the groups with simply two hours of working on a Friday. Whereas that will appear a superficial adjustment, the groups have needed to make massive changes to their run plans, as McLaren have revealed…
It is simple to miss the importance of the change to one-hour follow periods, given groups are wrestling with new aero regulations this season, making ready for a new era of Formula 1 that dawns in 2022 and racing in Grands Prix that appear to supply no finish of pleasure and drama.
However McLaren gave us some attention-grabbing perception into how they’ve needed to adapt to the brand new, shortened follow periods in an ongoing Q&A on their website.
“This yr our Friday periods are 60 minutes relatively than 90. This positively alters our pondering,” they started. “It’s nonetheless early within the course of, it has been fairly an adjustment and that’s nonetheless being tweaked.
“Thus far, it’s been somewhat bit much less of all the things relatively than chopping out any side of the run plan – as a result of finally, we nonetheless have two units of tyres handy again after every session, and that colors our pondering. Our lengthy runs with a heavy gasoline load on the finish of the periods haven’t been so lengthy. And lots of the back-to-back set-up experiments we’d wish to run in the course of the session at the moment are being cut up between the periods or carried out throughout the 2 automobiles.”
The workforce’s thriller ‘Fifth Driver’, who solutions the questions with the assistance of McLaren workforce members, continued to clarify that they’re avoiding follow programmes that require lengthy durations of “downtime” within the storage; relatively, they intention to maximise the quantity of laps accomplished in Free Follow periods.
“We’ll be making an attempt to do faster turnarounds within the storage between runs and might be reluctant to do the form of take a look at that requires 20-Half-hour of downtime within the storage,” they continued.
“Ideally, by making these compromises and rebalancing our programme, we’d have the ability to get as many laps in throughout a 60-minute session as we used to do in 90 minutes – however in actuality, we’ll most likely be doing fewer laps and might be time- relatively than tyre- or mileage-limited,” they concluded.
After the Spanish GP, McLaren sit simply 5 factors forward of Ferrari because the championship heads to Monaco for the primary time since 2019, the place after all the follow periods occur on a Thursday, not a Friday…