Formula One teams have to be very careful when it comes to spare parts in the heavily-revised 2020 season, says Mercedes' chief operating officer, Rob Thomas.
After the coronavirus outbreak put the 2020 F1 season on hold, the FIA and the Commercial Rights Holder started working tirelessly on a revised calendar for the 2020 World Championship season. The initial phase of the calendar has been already revealed with eight European rounds forming the start of the delayed season.
Teams and drivers will complete eight races in ten weeks with the condensed calendar incorporating two triple-headers, something which teams usually are not in favour of.
Rob Thomas has revealed that teams can run into problems when it comes to spare parts should their drivers need too many spare parts during a grand prix weekend.
"If you have two races, you'll go to a race and have some spare parts. If you have an issue in the first race you can normally manage the second race because you've got your spares. Add a third race to that, and all of a sudden you've run out of spares for the third race.”
Although F1 has introduced a homologation system that will heavily limit the possibilities of how teams can develop their car during the 2020 season, top teams are expected to push on with their development programme before even stricter sporting regulations are introduced at the start of 2021.
When it became evident that the coronavirus-induced delay would lead to a longer standstill, the sport has brought forward and extended its traditional shutdown to 63 days. With the factories being out of operations, teams are behind schedule in making spare parts.
"This presents a real headache for the factory in how we make sure the guys at the circuit have enough parts.
"We can look to have lots of spares but it's really expensive and we don't want to be wasteful, we need to be efficient, so, it's a bit of a judgement call,” Thomas concluded.