F1 teams have been reminded of the curfew rules after a few of them got a bit cheeky with the security guards who stay in the garage overnight during the Austrian Grand Prix weekend.
F1 teams have some very strict rules on when they’re allowed to work on the car over a race weekend. Mechanics aren’t allowed into the paddock for nine hours overnight, with this rule being there to prevent any overworking or any cheeky changes to the car when nobody is watching.
They’re allowed to break the curfew twice per season if they have a serious issue on Thursday or Friday night. Cars are in ‘parc ferme conditions’ on Saturday night, so they can’t be touched anyway.
It’s not a rare sight to see groups of mechanics hovering outside the paddock gates before they’re allowed in at F1 weekends, wanting to be the first into the garages so they can use every possible minute of work on the car.
But some teams are so desperate to get those extra few minutes of work that they’ve got their security guards to move equipment around and set up the garage for the day ahead so mechanics can get straight to it when they arrive. It’s all about those marginal gains, isn’t it?
Security guards are the only people who stay with the cars overnight and are there to make sure everything is kept safe. That is all. It’s not really in their remit to be doing odd jobs around the garage.
Obviously, the FIA want to get on top of this issue before it goes any further. It starts with firing up some computers, and before you know it, Adrian Newey is the Head of Security, and they’re carrying out full power unit changes in the dead of night. We’re joking of course, but you know how much these F1 teams love to bend the rules…
“I did remind all of the teams what the requirements are,” said Michael Masi, F1’s Race Director. “They had some people moving equipment, and they were all reminded very quickly – some people need reminders occasionally.”
It’s been shut down very quickly, but it just goes to show that if there’s any chance to have even the tiniest benefit to the car, it’s done.