Formula 1

Fernando Alonso Criticizes F1 Qualifying Format as ‘Obsolete,’ Calls for Urgent FIA Reforms

In a recent outburst, Fernando Alonso criticized the current Formula 1 qualifying format as the worst since 2001, terming it ‘obsolete’. The Aston Martin driver’s comments highlight growing dissatisfaction among racers with the FIA’s handling of the session.

Key Takeaways:

  • Alonso’s Discontent: Fernando Alonso voiced his frustration over the current state of F1 qualifying, which he described as the worst since his career began in 2001. His remarks came during the Abu Dhabi qualifying session, where drivers faced challenges due to new session regulations.
  • FIA’s New Regulations: The FIA introduced changes to prevent overtaking in the pit lane tunnel following an incident involving Max Verstappen. These modifications, according to Alonso, have only added complexity without improving the session.
  • The Call for Change: Alonso’s criticism extends to the FIA’s stricter adherence to rules under Mohammed Ben Sulayem’s leadership. The Spaniard expresses a need for reform, indicating a broad dissatisfaction with the current format among drivers and teams.

Fernando Alonso, the seasoned Formula 1 driver, has openly expressed his dissatisfaction with the current state of the sport’s qualifying sessions. During the recent Abu Dhabi qualifying, the Spanish racer criticized the format, which he believes has deteriorated significantly since he started his career in 2001. Alonso’s critique comes at a time when the FIA, under new leadership, has been implementing stricter rules and regulations in the sport.

The latest controversy stems from the FIA’s decision to prohibit drivers from overtaking in the pit lane tunnel, a move made in response to an incident involving Max Verstappen during practice. This modification, according to Alonso, has not improved the qualifying session but instead has complicated it further. The 42-year-old Aston Martin driver lamented the current state of the qualifying rounds, stating, “Exits did not help or make things worse. It didn’t change much, but it proves that the qualifying format is obsolete. This session used to be the best session of the weekend where the cars, they come alive. You drive these very fast cars and now it’s the worst session of the weekend. For the teams, for drivers, for traffic management, for track limits. Going to the stewards, not respecting the delta, impeding people, deleting the laps. We are all happy that it’s over and it shouldn’t be like that.”

Alonso’s comments reflect a broader sentiment of dissatisfaction with the FIA’s current approach to rule enforcement. The organization’s stricter adherence to regulations has been a point of contention among drivers. This shift in policy came after the controversial end to the season two years ago under Michael Masi’s stewardship. Under Mohammed Ben Sulayem’s leadership, the FIA has been more rigid in enforcing the rules, though this has not always been well-received by the drivers.

Alonso’s call for change is a significant moment in Formula 1, highlighting the need for a review and possible reform of the qualifying session format. His remarks put a spotlight on the growing disconnect between the drivers’ expectations and the sport’s regulatory body, suggesting a critical need for dialogue and reconsideration of the rules governing Formula 1.

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