Many spectators enthusiastic about the return of the Formula One circus may be disappointed on Saturday morning, as many teams are expected to decide to miss their third free practice. The reason for such a decision is said to be unreliable powertrains, the replacement of which will take much longer this year than usual.
“Sometimes it takes a few hours before teams even figure out what the problem is,” claims a German Motor und Sport journalist. Replacing the engine in this year's race car is expected to take as many as six hours, and Force India's technical chief, andy Green, warns that it could take even longer. "If we have to reassemble the engine from individual parts, it can take up to 18 hours."
Rumors of a missed third practice were also confirmed by race director Charlie Whiting: "I have heard that the teams intend to skip the third practice so that their car is definitely ready for qualifying."
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