The Thursday in Spain: Quali mode forbidden, Perez returns

13-08-2020 21:21 | Updated: 14-08-2020 00:46
F1 News
The Thursday in Spain: Quali mode forbidden, Perez returns

The third Grand Prix in the second triple header of 2020 will be held in a few days. But before that we will of course have the first two free practice sessions tomorrow, followed by the third and qualifying on Saturday. Thursday was already an extremely interesting day, because in addition to the usual press conferences, the FIA also came with an announcement about qualifying mode. Now that Thursday is over, we look back at the most important moments.

FIA prohibits qualification mode

There has been criticism for some time about the use of qualifying mode that allows drivers to ask just that little bit extra from the engine to be a bit faster during qualifying. This has given Mercedes an extraordinary amount of pole positions in recent years, which has led other engine manufacturers to follow suit.

The rule stems from a basis that the driver is the only one driving the car, and that without any outside help. In order to better regulate this, the engine would have to work in one fixed position and so the FIA wants the engine to be covered by the 'parc fermé' rules as well. This simply means that they are not allowed to adjust the engine position after qualifying, which is still possible now.

Initially it was reported that this would be a rule for 2021, but shortly after the first reports the FIA gave a definitive answer. As of the Belgian Grand Prix in a few weeks time, this qualification mode may no longer be used. Several drivers, including Verstappen and Leclerc, have indicated to be in favour of this.

But there are also drivers with their reservations, including Ricciardo, Ocon and Gasly. Hamilton was even fiercer and stated that the goal of slowing down Mercedes in this way would be in vain. By the way, the supreme team doesn't see it as a problem for them.

Vettel disproves speculation

Since it is known that Sebastian Vettel stops after this year at Ferrari it is buzzing with rumors. For example, he was briefly associated with Red Bull Racing, but Racing Point ultimately seems to be the most realistic candidate for the German. This was already a topic of conversation last week, especially since he was spotted at Silverstone after the first Grand Prix when Racing Point team boss Szafnauer stepped into the car.

With another bad performance during the second Grand Prix at Silverstone and the open criticism of Ferrari, the suggestion was made that the German would not finish the season at the Scuderia. Vettel resolutely referred this to the land of fables, he just kept focusing on his work. Vettel also expressed the words that every action he does, on or off the track and the latter in particular, leads to a headline.

By this the German means that behind almost every move he makes something is sought, which he gets a little tired of between the lines. Nevertheless, his move to Racing Point seems to be a reasonable certainty, but that still hasn't been decided yet. Not today either.

Racing Point continues to occupy the minds

The team that has been in the news comparatively much more this year is of course Racing Point. Initially because they did so well, followed by protests for copying the 2019 Mercedes and, to make matters worse, Sergio Perez contracted the coronavirus. In the meantime, the FIA has pronounced at the expense of the team, but the last word has not yet been said. Several protesting teams have appealed and Racing Point has also appealed against the penalty.

This again raised questions and once again it appears that the team has little to worry about. The team boss even said that the deeper they dig, the better for the team. Misplaced arrogance, or are they really right? It remains an interesting soap opera to follow, also because the penalty imposed by the FIA again raises questions. It solves one, but at the same time it creates loopholes in the rules again.

The good news of the day for Racing Point, albeit somewhat less good news for Hulkenberg, is that Perez turned negative in the last coron test. So after two races of absence the Mexican returns to his car this weekend. So far the most important events on the Thursday in Spain.

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