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Freight delays lead to FIA waiving curfew

NEWS STORY
11/11/2021

Freight delays that meant the late arrival of cars and engines in Brazil have caused the FIA to scrap the usual Thursday night curfew.

As team bosses and drivers gathered for their various media calls and the official press conference, at least four teams, including Ferrari and McLaren, were waiting on their cars, while none of the teams had engines.

Talking to reporters, Haas team boss, Guenther Steiner revealed that a plane had just landed and as a result of the delay, in addition to teams being granted permission to work through the night, scrutineering would be rescheduled.

"It's landed but I don't think everything is at the track yet," said the Italian. "Apparently the plane landed, that was what I was told maybe 45 minutes ago so it should be all at the track in the next hours.

"I don't know exactly which car parts are missing," he admitted, "but for sure the engines were missing. I think the toolboxes are missing and without the toolboxes you cannot work.

"So basically we still cannot work on the cars (yet), even if some of the parts are there."

"I think the guys just have to work through the night," he continued. "I don't know if we need to but it will be for sure a late night.

"We can still do the event as planned," he insisted, "not change the timetable of the event. That's the plan, and I think that's achievable now."

Brazil, of course, is the second leg in a triple-header that next week sees the F1 'circus' head to the Middle East for the Qatar Grand Prix.

However, Steiner was unwilling to blame the schedule for the freight issues.

"It's just one of the circumstances which happens now and then," said. "This year, with the corona, just to get this amount of races in, we had to do triple-headers, because in the end it got tighter and tighter, it got squeezed, and that is why they put them in.

"I think we will get out of this one OK," he added. "But for sure, FOM is looking at that to see if they are sometimes making a risk assessment that there is a risk that we cannot do something, and for sure lessons will be learned out of this one."

Looking ahead to next weekend, he said: "I think if this delay happens going to Qatar it would be a struggle. I think for Qatar, it's also the people. It's a long flight from here, the guys break down the garage, break down the cars, and then ship them and then jump on the plane for I think it's about 15-hour flight to get there, plus the time difference going ahead.

"So I think the next week will be pretty tough. But as you said, if you have got this issue next week, it has a bigger consequences than this week."

Officially confirming the mone, the Interlagos stewards subsequently said: "In accordance with Art 25.2 of the FIA Formula 1 Sporting Regulations, the Stewards hereby give a waiver to all Competitors in the 2021 Brazilian Grand Prix from the time limit in Art 25.1 and require that each Competitor be required to carry out initial scrutineering of his cars and submit the duly completed declaration no later than three (3) hours before the start of P1."

Check out our Thursday gallery from Interlagos, here.

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