(Motorsport-Total.com) – “Now only a few people are allowed to work on the car at the same time. This limits how quickly you can make changes,” says Andrew Green. And the Racing Point technical manager knows what he is talking about: During a film day in Silverstone, his team tried out the new processes under corona virus conditions and gained important insights.
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For example: Should a drive change be necessary on the race weekend, simply “in between” it will no longer be feasible. “I suspect it will now take twice as long as before,” says Green. A team would therefore be well over three hours or more to completely replace the drive unit.
“Depending on when such a change is due, it can be very difficult,” says Green. “This means that you should undertake as little work as possible for a weekend. You have to concentrate on doing the important things efficiently and well. Only then can you deal with other topics.”
The small set-up change as a challenge
An unscheduled engine change can quickly become a trip hazard under corona virus conditions, says Green. “We just hope we don’t have to do one at short notice. That is clear.”
The test drives in Silverstone, limited to 100 kilometers and carried out with special, hard Pirelli tires, would have shown one thing: “In principle, it is important that the engineers pay attention to the distance when working on the car and wear the correct protective clothing. This means that working on the car takes much longer, and you have to consider that. “
Quickly make a set-up change and then send the vehicle back on the track, that will not happen in the previous form, says Green. “We have to reschedule what we normally do so that we can get it done on the race weekend without [zum Beispiel] to break curfew. That was one of the biggest lessons in our test. “
Prevent technical problems at all costs
For Racing Point and all other Formula 1 teams, this also means being even more thorough when preparing for a race weekend: “The car has to be correctly constructed and robust, so that we do nothing more than the usual [Verschleißteile] need to replace. Reliability is key so that it runs as smoothly as possible. “
One mistake is enough to pose major problems for on-site operations, says Green. “This will put the team under a lot of pressure. Drivers should be aware that the repair after a departure could take a lot longer.”
However, Racing Point technology manager Green suspects: Depending on the team, the way of working could be different. “Not everyone works with Mercedes drives. I don’t know the processes for Ferrari or Renault drives. But there will be differences,” he says.
The distance test as an advantage?
“We just have to adapt to what is available to us. Maybe other teams are more efficient because they follow different guidelines.”
A general advantage, because his racing team had already operated on the racetrack again before going to Spielberg, Green “doesn’t really see”, as he says. “We only got a small impression. And you can work just as well in the factory.” The only difference is that Racing Point tested the new processes directly on a track.