Formula 1

Fernando Alonso Criticizes F1 Qualifying Rules; Calls for Return to Single-Lap System

Fernando Alonso has publicly criticized the F1 qualifying format, expressing his dissatisfaction with the FIA’s handling of the Singapore Grand Prix qualifying and advocating for a return to the single-lap system used in 2003. Despite changes made by the FIA to the rules, Alonso believes the current system is outdated and not suitable for modern F1 cars.

Key Takeaways:

  • Alonso’s Discontent: Alonso is unhappy with the three-stage qualifying format introduced in 2006, suggesting it’s obsolete and calling for a return to the 2003 single-lap system.
  • Qualifying Congestion Issues: Despite FIA’s tweaks for the Singapore Grand Prix, issues like traffic congestion persisted, with incidents like Max Verstappen’s impeding of another driver highlighting the flaws.
  • Safety and Strategy Concerns: Lando Norris discusses the drivers’ push for changes in lap time rules, focusing on safety and the need for strategic track positioning.

In the wake of the recent Singapore Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso, the two-time world champion, has voiced strong opinions against the current Formula 1 qualifying format. He advocates for a shift back to the single-lap system of 2003, a format he believes is more suited to today’s F1 dynamics.

During the drivers’ briefing before the race, it was unanimously agreed that abandoning the standard maximum lap time procedure was the best course of action. The usual rules required drivers to stick to a set maximum time for their in- and out-laps to avoid penalties. However, it was believed that these restrictions could negatively impact tyre preparation and that the Singapore track offered enough space to avoid congestion. Unfortunately, this assumption proved incorrect, and the clause was subsequently dropped.

Despite these changes, the issue of congestion remained a significant problem. One of the most notable incidents was Max Verstappen’s impeding of Williams rookie Logan Sargeant during Q1, which surprisingly resulted in no penalty for the reigning champion.

Speaking to Autosport, Alonso from Aston Martin, highlighted the challenges faced:

“It is difficult to handle, I think. Whatever [the FIA] do, we will find a way to sail that kind of rule. They have a very difficult job in terms of managing traffic on street circuits.”

He also suggested that the solution lies in reverting to the 2003 single-lap system, emphasizing its simplicity and effectiveness:

“I have said many times that there is only one way to find a solution which is single-lap qualifying. All the other solutions we can test but will never work because we will find a way. I think this qualifying format is obsolete. It has been the same for 20-25 years [sic], but the cars are not the same. We have hybrid engines, we have to charge [the battery], we have to cool the tyres, so the only way to go forward is one lap.”

Lando Norris of McLaren provided insight into the drivers’ collective viewpoint, explaining the reasoning behind the push for changes in lap time regulations:

“Initially, the reasoning for having it was to limit approaching speed differences, especially in Monza. They said the reason for it was not to try and sort out traffic and overtaking but to sort out people going 10km/h when you go 300km/h into the last corner. That’s not a safety issue, that’s just driving to find your own position. If you don’t want this, you can go out five minutes earlier and get on with your lap and do it yourself. I think it was a good decision that they made, it was better for everyone.”

Alonso’s and Norris’s comments highlight a growing sentiment among drivers for a change in the qualifying format, a sentiment that the FIA may need to address in the near future to keep up with the evolving dynamics of modern Formula 1 racing.

Related Articles

Back to top button