Pierre Gasly has supported changes to the sprint format which would see the schedule of a weekend change for the 2024 season and the opening of parc fermé rules.
In 2023, the format saw the sprint have its own day with qualifying on Saturday morning followed by the race in afternoon but changes have been announced for that format which will see the sprint spread out across two days.
Another change expected to come is parc fermé which under the old rule set would come into place before Friday’s qualifying session.
Pierre Gasly backs F1 changes to sprint rules
After the F1 Commission met last week, they decided that sprint qualifying would move to the Friday, as it was originally, but also that the sprint race will take place first on the Saturday. Qualifying for the main race would then take place after that followed by the Grand Prix on the Sunday.
But as well as the schedule changes, there is likely to be adaptations to parc fermé which before would come into place before qualifying.
Parc fermé, French for closed park, restricts teams to only certain modifications on the race cars and under strict supervision from FIA officials. These are often minor elements such as adjusting the front wing and unlikely to have any substantial change.
Drivers and teams have long complained that just one practice session is not enough to set up the car correctly and a key example of this came in Austin when both Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc were disqualified because of their car being too low, a problem that would have been resolved with more practice time.
In that regard, Alpine’s Gasly believes that is allows some of the “best” mechanics in the world to actually do their job.
“I think that’s great,” he told media including PlanetF1.com during Alpine’s launch. “I think that was missing definitely.
“We ended up last year, having amazing, brilliant, genius guys on a Friday afternoon being forbidden to touch anything on our car and that’s what they are paid for, that’s why they are the best.
“It was a bit sad, because they have much more to bring to the table than just one or two clicks on the front wing and tyre pressure. F1 is the top of engineering and I think it’s right we still give them the opportunity to always have these continuous improvements through the weekend.”
Gasly stated that before it was “limited” due to having just one hour of competition-free running until the car was locked in.
“You don’t have time to try anything,” the Frenchman said. “Because in one hour of practice, you’re quite limited. It was always trying to do the work in the simulator and if you realise you didn’t start the weekend with the best setup, your window to react was extremely small.
“So now I think it was definitely the right change.”