New F1 Grand Prix schedule
It appears that the FIA and the ten teams have reached an agreement on what the
new schedule for Grand-Prix week-ends will be like. Nothing is set in stone yet,
but the following should not change much before the FIA approves it... sometime
Teams having chosen to limit their
on-season testing to 10 days between March 1st and October 31st 2003 (a.k.a. the
"Heathrow" agreement) will be allowed two hours of testing on Friday morning,
from 8:45 to 10:45. Only Minardi, Jordan and Renault have chosen this option.
These three teams will be allowed to use three chassis and three drivers during
these 120 minutes.
Following this, every team will have a one hour
testing session between 11:00 and 12:00 before the first qualifying session
(from 14:00 to 15:00). During this period, drivers will only get one timed lap
and the final standings will determine the starting order of the Saturday
This day will start
with two free sessions, from 9:00 to 9:45 and from 10:15 to 11:00. The
qualifying session will be held from 14:00 to 15:00, still with only one timed
lap per driver. The starting order will be in reverse order from Friday's times
(Friday's fastest qualifier will start last on Saturday).
A 15 minute warm-up session will start the
day, from 9:00 to 9:15. The pit-lane will open at 13:30 to allow one final
shakedown lap before the cars take their position on the starting grid. The race
will start at 14:00, like in years past.
After the Saturday qualifying session, cars will be put
under surveillance in the parc fermé, meaning they will be under the watchful
eyes of race marshals, but curiously enough, they will be allowed to go back to
their garage. Despite the fact that each car will be in their garage, there
won't be the possibility to make any major change to the cars.
We'll see if
this "parc fermé but not in a parc fermé" solution will truly work...