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2015 Rule Change: Pre-Race Parc Ferme
Posted on 23 Feb 2015
By Marc Priestly (@f1elvis)
ARTICLE 34) PRE-RACE PARC FERMÉ
Parc Fermé’s certainly nothing new to Formula One, it describes the area or period of time where the cars are secured and available for technical checks by the FIA and stewards. Under parc fermé conditions, teams are only permitted to carry out very limited and restricted tasks specifically laid out under Article 34 of F1’s Sporting Regulations. By forcing teams to provide a copy of their car’s set-up sheet to the FIA before qualifying, it gives a blueprint, by which all parts, measurements and settings must concur at any time the car’s checked whilst in parc fermé.
This means that whilst teams can use practice sessions to experiment, learn and fine-tune the car’s set up, by the time they head into qualifying they need to be clear about the direction they and their drivers want to take and have any changes completed. It can be a really tough decision, given the need to prepare a car to deliver the ultimate, flat out single lap on Saturday afternoon to get the best grid position, particularly crucial around a circuit like Marina Bay, yet without making any mechanical changes, also deliver the consistency and tyre preservation required over a tough and very long, 61-lap Singapore Grand Prix.
From the point of view of the mechanics and their workload, this is one of the best rules to be introduced to Formula One…ever.
Marc Priestley spent almost ten years as a race mechanic and member of the pitstop crew at the McLaren Formula One Team, working with an esteemed list of drivers including Mika Hakkinen, David Coulthard, Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton. After an instrumental role helping the team to World Championship success, Marc’s now switched to the media side of the sport he loves and shares his insight and expertise through a number of global television networks and other outlets.