Mercedes against proposed 2021 format and parc fermé shake-up

Mercedes chief Toto Wolff has said the proposed 2021 format and parc fermé rules shake-up would not be beneficial to the sport and would "open a can of worms" with the potential for more penalties.

Whilst the 2021 rules have yet to be finalised, some information has leaked including a proposal to cut Thursday's media day and instead push Friday's two practice sessions back to the afternoon, allowing for media activites to be conducted on Friday morning along with car scrutineering.

The proposal also includes moving parc fermé to Friday, pre-practice, rather than pre-qualifying as it currently is. This would mean the same specification car must be run across the entire weekend with no changes – such as replacing the front-wing with an updated version.

Whilst Wolff would support a shorter weekend as long as it doesn't impact the show or the ability for promoters to make money, he says Mercedes "are not keen" on changing parc fermé rules.

"I think if you can compress [the weekend] without reducing the show, then that is something we should look at," he said on Friday. "I believe that for the promoters it is not great. The Friday is an important day when they are able to generate some revenue and attract some audiences."

He added: "We are not keen on the parc fermé format from Friday to Sunday. There is no motor racing formula out there that doesn’t allow the cars to be touched over the weekend and I don’t think we should start with Formula 1, the pinnacle of motor racing."

Wolff reckons such a change could result in even more penalties being issued, particularly if a car encounters an issue during practice and needs to be rebuilt.

"You open up a can of worms with penalties because cars will end up in the wall and they will need to rebuilt and I think from the sheer idea of how we can add more variability, more unpredictability, have more cars braking down, I think we will achieve the contrary.

"We will spend more time and resource in the virtual world, runs cars harder on dynos to make them last, because we know we can’t take them apart over three days, so I don’t think this is something we should touch. There are many other areas that make sense, but this one, not for us."