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WMSC meets tomorrow

NEWS STORY
29/11/2016

The World Motor Sport Council meets in Vienna tomorrow and along with official confirmation of the 2017 calendar a number of other F1-related issues are up for discussion.

With officials at Hockenheim having confirmed that the circuit will not host next year's race, despite having a German world champion in a German car, the calendar looks set to revert to 20 races.

Organisers in Baku are not only pushing for a name change - the event to sensibly become the Azerbaijan Grand Prix - but a date change.

As was the case this year, the event is scheduled to take place on the same weekend as the classis Le Mans 24-hour race (17/18 June), however organisers are seeking a date change.

Other than the fact that they feel the WEC event meant the Baku race got less coverage this year, they claim that being back-to-back with Canada presents a logistical nightmare.

Also up for discussion is Bernie Ecclestone's demand that drivers complete less reconassance laps ahead of the race on Sunday afternoons.

At present, the drivers have 15-minutes of running available to them once the pitlane opens half-an-hour before the race. However, with many opting to complete a number of laps, passing through the pitlane in the process, before taking their place on the grid, this is presenting problems of its own kind.

What with last minute debriefs and 'comfort breaks', on a couple of occasions drivers have been late or missing for the national anthem. This, much to Ecclestone's frustration, came to a head in Brazil when a couple of drivers were absent for the anthem and Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button arrived once it was underway.

While, the issues in Brazil can be put down to the change in weather conditions, Ecclestone is still calling for the pitlane to be closed after 8 minutes as opposed to the current 15.

Then again, in cases where the anthem is sung by the latest winner of a TV talent show perhaps Bernie could have it extended to 25 minutes.

One of the most controversial moves set to be rubber-stamped tomorrow will see standing starts introduced after Safety Car periods.

Again, the move, agreed to by the teams it would appear, comes at the behest of Ecclestone who believes it would add excitement.

A similar plan looked set to be approved before but team bosses cited a number of reasons why it should not be implemented. Now, despite those same reasons being in place, it would appear the team bosses have had a change of heart.

Among the original objections to the idea was that - like DRS - it would be artificial, for if a Safety Car period came late in a race when a driver had built a significant lead this would be obliterated in one fell swoop.

Also, particularly in wet or changing conditions, drivers could suddenly find themselves re-starting on the wrong side of the grid.

It has already been decided - and will be approved tomorrow - that races which get underway in the wet behind the Safety Car will feature a standing start once conditions have improves to the point that the Safety Car can withdraw, however, Ecclestone's call for races to become 'two-parters' of forty minutes each was roundly rejected.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by phantom, 30/11/2016 1:04

"This is all getting so silly that my decision to stop watching F1 is gaining more traction than tires that are two laps old. I wouldn't even read this stuff if it wasn't for the comedic and operatic value."

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2. Posted by F One, 29/11/2016 18:57

"Drop Baku please."

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3. Posted by GrahamG, 29/11/2016 13:22

"Goodness, why on earth would anyone want a driver who had built up a lead to actually win!
I assume next step will be compulsory stop and restarts if someone other than Lewis Hamilton looks like winning"

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