Tonight sees the debut of a new F1 parc ferme system implemented by the FIA, one which sees the governing body ‘spying’ on any illicit activity in each of the team garages with a network of 24 cameras.
In past years on Saturday evening all the cars were kept together in a single FIA garage. However with 26 cars originally expected for this year – and up to three new teams requiring garages of their own – the FIA decided to look for a new system to make better use of the space.
The car are now kept under parc ferme conditions in the garages of the individual teams, and to ensure that there is no tampering they are zipped up in a car cover – a bit like a giant sleeping bag – which is then sealed by the FIA when parc ferme begins at 6.30pm on Saturday night.
In the past the teams would collect the cars at 8.30am (or 9.30am with Bahrain’s late race start) from the parc ferme garage, but now they can just unzip the covers.
The FIA has also mounted a camera on the pit gantry above every car to monitor any movement around the cars overnight. A Bahrain track official has the exciting job of watching an FIA laptop with 24 camera views on it.
Fortunately if he falls asleep anything untoward will still be recorded…