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Nervous teams to sit out Saturday's 3rd F1 practice

Fernando Alonso in Australia
Fernando Alonso in Australia
Fernando Alonso in Australia

Fernando Alonso in Australia

Television and trackside viewers face a questionable spectacle on Saturday morning at Albert Park Melbourne Circuit.

As ever, an hour of practice is scheduled to finish just two hours before the all-important qualifying hour.

Some teams, however, may not bother to send their cars out at all on Saturday morning.

That's because the newly V6-powered cars have not only proved worryingly unreliable in winter testing, but because repairing them now takes much longer than in the past.

"Sometimes hours pass before a diagnosis is even made," said Auto Motor und Sport correspondent Michael Schmidt.

A full engine change can now take a whopping six hours, but Force India technical boss Andy Green added: "If we have to piece it together with individual parts, it can be 18 hours."

FIA race director Charlie Whiting confirmed to reporters in Melbourne: "I've heard teams say that they'd skip P3 to make sure they have a car for qualifying."

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