Formula One recently introduced sprint qualifying, a short race on Saturday to determine the starting grid for Sunday’s main event, as a way to spice up the series’ full race weekend schedule. But Alpine driver Fernando Alonso doesn’t think that’s quite enough. Oh, no. He wants things to get even spicier.
As a quick reminder, while F1 replaced its traditional qualifying session on Saturday with a race, it didn’t totally eliminate that three-session qualifying period we know. It just moved it to Friday, instead. Friday’s qualifying session determines the grid for the start of the sprint race. The results of the sprint race determine the starting order for Sunday’s feature.
“I like the format, I think we have action three days, Friday, Saturday and Sunday,” he said, as reported by Motorsport.com. “So it’s good for the people.
“Last year when I was watching races at home, Friday meant nothing, because the long runs, they are very important for the teams, the drivers, but not for the people at home to understand from the outside.
“I hope we can keep this format. And if anything, I will suggest Fridays could be more spicy as well. You know, like having one set of tires and one attempt for everybody, it gives the same chances for all of us.
“It’s not an unfair qualifying or reverse order or anything like that, that I understand can be unfair. But if we give one set of tires and one chance for all of us, it’s the same for everybody.”
Basically, Alonso is proposing that there be a handful of extra rules in place to make qualifying even more exciting, like giving drivers a single shot at setting a fast lap or making everyone qualify on one set of tires.
“Maybe it changes something, because we saw with six attempts and six set of tires we finished in the order that we deserve, and we finish in the performance order of our cars like every qualifying.
“And maybe that can be a little bit changed and have even better Saturday sprint qualifyings if one of the fast cars is not in the first two rows of the grid.
Basically, Alonso is proposing there be a more interesting and exciting method of qualifying, beyond even moving qualifying to Friday and extending qualifying via a sprint race on Saturday. We'll see how that one pans out for him.