Wolff speaks out against new parc ferme rules

Jamie Woodhouse
Toto Wolff has spoken out against the new par ferme proposals for 2021.

Toto Wolff has spoken out against the new par ferme proposals for 2021.

Mercedes principal Toto Wolff has warned that new parc ferme rule plans to stop teams changing car parts over the weekend would be a bad idea.

Among the many agendas on the table as part of the 2021 Formula 1 overhaul is an idea to shift Friday’s two practice sessions to later in the day, meaning pre-race parc ferme conditions would begin before practice and teams would be unable to make serious changes after heading onto the track.

Wolff has warned that this would only increase the costs for teams, feeling they would be forced to increase their simulation work.

Speaking to Motorsport.com, he said: “We are not keen on the parc ferme format from Friday to Sunday.

“There’s no motor racing formula out there that doesn’t allow the cars to be touched over the weekend and I don’t think we should start with F1, the pinnacle of motor racing.

“You open up a can of worms with penalties, because cars will end up in the wall, will need to be rebuilt. The idea of how we can add more variability, unpredictability, have more cars breaking down – we will achieve the contrary.

“We will spend more time and research in the virtual world, more cars on dynos to make them last because we know we can’t take them apart over three days.

“I don’t think this is something we should touch. There’s many other areas that make sense but this one not for us.”

Moving parc ferme to Friday morning is part of the plan to reduce the workload for Formula 1 personnel as the calendar grows – in theory they wouldn’t need to be at the track on a Thursday thanks to these new regulations.

Under the proposal teams would have to commit to their set-up for qualifying and the race on Friday before any on-track running occurred.

Current rules allow basic checks and processes under parc ferme, such as bleeding the brake system, charging batteries, altering the front wing, or repairing “Genuine accident damage”, but changes which haven’t been signed off by the FIA will constitute a breach of parc ferme rules with the driver then being forced to start from the pit lane.

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