In his original notes for the event, Vitich explained that launches were not allowed at the barn exit during the weekend.
As is the case with other races facing such a compromise, she was only allowed to be on the grid at the end of practice sessions.
However, both FP1 and FP3 were curtailed by red flags, meaning that the only time teams were able to attempt the start was after FP2 finished at 4am, in very cold conditions and on a track with less rubber than it is now.
This left the teams with only a third of the data they expected to get, and opened up the possibility of some bad misses, with potential safety risks.
With that in mind, Vitich issued new notes Saturday evening that gave drivers permission to conduct drills at the pit exit during their final reconnaissance runs.
If they did not want to start and the car in front of them stopped, they were also given permission to cross the white line out of the pits (actually pink for this race), which is not normally allowed.
“During the time that the pit exit is open for racing, practice may be conducted after the end of the pit exit route but before the SC2 line. During this time, any driver passing a car stopped for practice may cross the white line,” Wittich wrote.
Speaking before the opportunity to begin additional training was confirmed, some teams indicated they had concerns.
“I think the launch here will be interesting,” said Alpine technical director Matt Harman when asked about the lack of training by Motorsport.com.
“It’s going to be a bit difficult. I think we’re more concerned about the start and the get going and making sure we get a good start and get through the first set of corners.”
“I think the overall track condition is a bit of an unknown,” said Williams head of vehicle performance Dave Robson. “It is also difficult to know how the tires will perform in the race.
“So I think we know a lot less than we normally do about the start of the race. We’ll see, we know roughly where we should be.
“It’s difficult. It’s the same for everyone. And at least it takes a short distance to turn, so I think someone would have to make a very spectacular mistake. I think it would have to be a mechanical problem or a huge driver error and it would have to be that way.” I see a big difference in the first turn.”
McLaren team principal Andrea Stella was less concerned about the actual launch.
“The difficulty does not lie at the beginning itself in terms of the procedures that the drivers follow, because this procedure is repeated independently of the place,” the Italian said. “You may have to make some small adjustments to how you use the clutch or throttle, depends on the grip level.”
However, Stella expects the first lap challenge to be as soon as the cars come off the line.
“I think the difficulties will be more related to the low level of grip,” the Italian said. “This way you will know that when you go into the first corner it might not be much, because it is a short acceleration.
“But with these long straights, when you get to the braking point, it’s like floating a little bit on the ice. I think that will be stressful for the drivers. Hopefully everything will be clean.”
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