On the Thursday before every Formula 1 race weekend, the track is open for drivers and teams to walk around. This extra preparatory step allows drivers and teams to see the details of corners up close as they prepare for the weekend. It also used to give drivers a chance to experience the circuit on their bicycles, but that, apparently, changed yesterday.
Motorsport reports that series officials sent teams a letter stating that any form of transportation but walking is now banned during these track walks, with no exceptions. That means drivers who would otherwise go around the circuit at slow speeds on a bicycle, a scooter, or any other method of transportation will now have to figure out how to get those same notes at a walking pace.
On an ordinary weekend, this would already create a problem for drivers that would otherwise ride around the track. Charles Leclerc suggested to Motorsport that he would no longer participate in the track walks going forward for this exact reason. This weekend's race at Saudi Arabia has an even bigger drawback, though; the track was reportedly shuttered in the evening to accommodate Black Eyed Peas star Will.I.Am.'s latest music video. That kept Nico Hulkenberg from completing his track walk.
Drivers uninterested in walking the length of the circuit will still be able to review footage of the track recorded earlier in the week before their racing laps, but the slight change in weekend schedule is a surprising new disruption. If either Leclerc or Hulkenberg forget the exact shape of a corner this weekend, Will.I.Am. may be to blame.
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