“I can’t see anything changing dramatically,” says Masi of F1’s wheel-to-wheel racing approach for 2020
By Matt Morlidge
Last Updated: 29/05/20 4:49pm
Formula 1 intends to enable drivers to proceed their ‘gloves-off’ approach to wheel-to-wheel racing – regardless of their lengthy lay-off – when the game returns, FIA race director Michael Masi has confirmed to Sky Sports F1.
A delayed first race of the 2020 F1 season is about for July 5 in Austria, which means drivers may have had greater than six months with out turning a wheel in anger.
Lewis Hamilton admitted earlier this month that they are going to be “rusty as hell”.
But after a number of pulsating duels final season have been helped by F1’s lenient officiating – comparable to Max Verstappen vs Charles Leclerc at Spielberg and Hamilton vs Leclerc at Monza – Masi mentioned there will probably be little or no change.
“I don’t think any of [the drivers] have ever been out of a car or kart or anything else for this long, ever,” the Australian mentioned on Friday’s Sky F1 Vodcast when requested by Anthony Davidson in regards to the ‘gloves-off’ approach.
“But in Austria, I believe it will likely be extra of a continuation of the place we have been with the ‘let them race’ ideas in direction of the top of final yr. I can not see something altering dramatically.
“And at the end of the day, we have 20 of the best drivers in the world. They’re in Formula 1 for a reason. While they may not have been in a car of recent times, I don’t think that’s going to have a great deal of impact in their capabilities.”
The black and white flag, likened by Masi to soccer’s yellow card, was regularly used final season because the FIA and its stewards opted to give drivers closing warnings for sure incidents as a substitute of instant punishments.
“I’m as excited as everyone else for the first free practice session in Austria and to get motorsport back underway” added Masi, who changed the late Charlie Whiting in 2019.
‘Work for reverse races can be astronomical’
As nicely as discussing the FIA’s plans as soon as the game returns, and the recently-confirmed cost-cutting measures for the game – Masi additionally spoke about why ‘reverse races’ have been by no means possible.
The prospect of racing round sure tracks the flawed means spherical was raised by followers to boost Grands Prix which may very well be internet hosting two occasions this yr – comparable to Spielberg and Silverstone.
But Masi mentioned: “I did have to have a giggle once I noticed some feedback about some circuits operating backwards!
“All of the circuits, and the safety infrastructure is designed – be it the walls, flag posts – around the cars running in a certain direction. Even when it comes to the openings when a car breaks down, if you’re running the opposite direction you’re effectively running into a blunt wall.
“While it could be good to have circuits that run each methods in some areas, it is a way more difficult job and would contain actually altering partitions of locations.
“The amount of work would be astronomical to make it happen, let’s put it that way.”