Approaching the Styrian Grand Prix at Austria this weekend, a new TD was approved by the FIA mid-week, in which the organism express “If a mechanic indicates that he has already finished tightening the nut in less than 0.15 seconds, the sensor on his gun will override it, causing the mechanic to repeat this action and make sure it has been properly tightened”. In addition, “once all the mechanics have tightened their respective nuts as they should be, the new regulations establish that a total of 0.2 seconds must elapse between the last pistol sensor being activated and the green signal of the driver's light.”
As RaceFans.net reported at the moment: “The purpose of the directive is to ensure wheels nuts are fully tightened onto cars during pit stops and to prevent mechanics anticipating the completion of different stages of the pit stop process in order to save time.”
In his usual pre-free practice press conference, MotorLat was present and the McLaren Team Principal said that McLaren is pretty much comfortable with the new technical directive implemented by the FIA to “make pit stops safer”.
“We welcome the initiative of the FIA to put on this clarification. Safety for our pit crew is always the most important thing for us as a team.”
“Of course it is a very competitive battlefield in Formula 1 and therefore I think it is good to clarify even further what FIA is expecting in order to follow the rules. I don’t think it will change a lot for us. I would say it is a more conservative approach to make sure that we don’t put anyone at risk.”
Seidl is very clear on the topic, there’s nothing more significant than safety in the sport, that’s why, according to him: “it is important to anticipate problems or safety issues. It is always better than when they happen and then react. Therefore we are very happy with that.”
With seven rounds so far in the championship, McLaren is now 3rd in the constructors’ stands with 110 points ahead of Ferrari, the 4th team with 94 points. The German was questioned about the Maranello team and its issue with performance showed in the latest races.
“We are not underestimating the capacity of Ferrari to get on top of this issue. If you look at the other races so far this season looks like it is more difficult to us to extract the one lap performance on Saturdays, but then usually we have more competitive race performance. We simply have to focus on ourselves, the goal is clear, we need to aim for finishing higher up in Saturdays in order to make sure we can use the potential the car has on Sundays and then get the points that the car is good for.”
Seidl concluded by expressing his content with Daniel Ricciardo’s improvement in the last races, after the Aussie driver experienced a period of adaptation to his new team that saw him being lapped once, in the round at Monaco, by his teammate Lando Norris. Now, the 31-years-old accumulates two races with important points on his bag for McLaren.
“Obviously I was very happy to see the steps Daniel has made. Not just in Paul Ricard but also in Baku already, it wasn’t that obvious because of the crash he had in qualifying. But is great to see he made a good step in Paul Ricard giving him a lot of confidence and that paid off with his maneuverers on the race, which is a confirmation that he feels more comfortable.”
“At the same time, and as he says, there still more steps to make, but I’m sure these two races will make his confidence complete the whole process of adaptation in Austria.”