Teams could sit out Saturday Free Practice in Melbourne

Charlie Whiting

Charlie Whiting

It has emerged that television and trackside viewers face a questionable spectacle on the Saturday morning of the Australian Grand Prix weekend at Albert Park.

As ever, an hour of practice is scheduled to finish just two hours before the all-important qualifying hour. Some teams, however, may not bother to send their cars out at all on Saturday morning.

FIA race director Charlie Whiting confirmed to reporters in Melbourne: “I’ve heard teams say that they’d skip P3 to make sure they have a car for qualifying.”

That’s because the newly V6-powered cars have not only proved worryingly unreliable in winter testing, but because repairing them now takes much longer than in the past.

“Sometimes hours pass before a diagnosis [of a problem] is even made,” said Auto Motor und Sport correspondent Michael Schmidt.

A full engine change can now take a whopping six hours, but Force India Technical Director Andy Green added: “If we have to piece it together with individual parts, it can be 18 hours.”(GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

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  • M.M

    teams like lotus , redbull , torro rosso , caterham cannot afford to miss out on fp3

  • McLarenfan

    And who didn’t see this coming, a lot of us already said this could crop up because of how long repairs were taking just for a loose connector 4hrs.