Formula 1 will discuss allowing race start times to be brought forward to avoid a repeat of the wash-out which ruined the Belgian Grand Prix in August.
During the Russian Grand Prix last weekend a Formula 3 support race was moved earlier in the schedule, from Saturday to Friday, in order to avoid the heavy rain which fell during its original time slot.
Moving the round was “absolutely the right decision” said the FIA’s F1 race director Michael Masi on Saturday. “It was torrential at the time we would have been having the F3 race.”
However he denied the decision to start the F3 race earlier had been prompted by the experience of Spa.
“The conditions looked as they did. Probably the overriding factor in that scenario was that it was the last round of the championship and we had the ability to fit it into the programme.
“So you’ve got to take all of those factors into account, but Spa certainly hasn’t come into it whatsoever.”
F1 has not previously moved sessions earlier in the day at short notice, even when facing forecasts of bad weather. This is believed to be due to a reluctance to inconvenience broadcasters who may not be able to begin their coverage earlier.
Other series such as IndyCar, where racing does not take place in wet conditions on ovals, have brought race start times forward in order to avoid rain. Masi said this will be discussed in light of events at Spa.
“It’s not so much TV schedule dependent, I think it’s something that we’re going to be discussing in the coming weeks,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans.
“We said following Spa that there’s obviously a whole lot of strategic discussions that need to take place between the FIA, F1 and the 10 teams and that’s going to be one of the discussions of the strategy group meeting.”
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