Alonso suggests return of one-shot qualifying to help F1 sprint races

Fernando Alonso believes a return to one-shot qualifying could help improve the action in Formula 1's sprint race weekends by changing the "natural order" of the cars.

F1 staged its second sprint race on Saturday at Monza after debuting the format at Silverstone earlier this year, holding a 100km race to set the grid for Sunday's grand prix.

The sprint race offered few on-track overtakes and has drawn criticism from fans, while Red Bull's Sergio Perez called it "very boring" under its current format.

Alpine driver Alonso was one of the few drivers to make an on-track overtake after the first lap at Monza on Saturday, passing Sebastian Vettel as he rose from 13th on the grid to finish 11th.

The two-time F1 world champion said the current sprint race format was "good" and "more fun" as it offered fans more action than normal on a race weekend.

Alonso felt the real issue leading to a lack of action in sprint races was the starting order of the cars, pointing to Friday's qualifying session as a place where a shake-up should take place.

"I still think that Friday is the really point that we need to improve," Alonso said.

"If qualifying is still six sets of tyres, we will eventually finish in the natural order of the performance of the cars. So in Saturday sprint race, we will start in our position, [and] we will finish in our position.

"While if the format in qualifying on Friday is a little bit different, just one lap or something… for example yesterday in Q2, I locked up the front tyres into Turn 1, and with that lap, I would start last today, because I made a mistake.

"I will pay the price, start last, and maybe today I have a hard job to do. There is a sense of the sprint qualifying. It will be more spicy.

"I still think the same [I did] after Silverstone after Monza. The Friday is the thing that we need to, if possible, change the natural order of the cars."

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521, Esteban Ocon, Alpine A521

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521, Esteban Ocon, Alpine A521

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Alonso added that having only one lap in qualifying would "really add some difficulty" and punish drivers for making any mistakes.

F1 last used a one-lap qualifying format back in 2005 before moving to the three stage structure in 2006 that is still used to this day.

Asked by Motorsport.com if he would like to see one-shot qualifying at just sprint races or across the whole season, Alonso said both could work together on every weekend.

While he recognised that there were some circuits where sprint races wouldn't work - such as Monaco, fearing it would be "boring Saturday and boring Sunday" - he thought one lap qualifying could help bring added thrill in places to shake up the order.

"Imagine one lap in Monaco and you only have that lap," Alonso said.

Read Also:

"And there is track evo, or maybe there is weather. Maybe the leaders of the championship start first, and you make a mega lap, with the track evolution and you start on the first row of the grid, something like that.

"Maybe there is one weekend where you are lucky, and you can perform on something extra.

"Now, your hands are tied. Even if you have inspiration one day, if your car is the fifth fastest, you will finish ninth and 10th."

shares
comments
Verstappen not expecting "straightforward and easy" Italian GP

Previous article

Verstappen not expecting "straightforward and easy" Italian GP

Next article

Hamilton explains 2mm error that led to poor sprint race start

Hamilton explains 2mm error that led to poor sprint race start
Load comments
How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus Prime

How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Prime

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Prime

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says Stuart Codling.

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Prime

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences.

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Prime

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Prime

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Prime

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1's elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he's recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Italian Grand Prix driver ratings

Two drivers produced faultless performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left many to rue what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021