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
The lessons F1 can take from the Masi "souk" deal criticisms Prime

The lessons F1 can take from the Masi "souk" deal criticisms

As Formula 1 heads to its Abu Dhabi season finale, the FIA and race director Michael Masi are under increased scrutiny, with radio messages broadcast during last weekend's race prompting discussion and controversy. But what can they learn from the Saudi Arabia debacle?

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race Prime

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race

OPINION: Max Verstappen has made the 2021 Formula 1 championship. He’s taken the fight to the all-conquering Mercedes squad and its dominant champion, produced driving displays few can match. But he’s been on a controversial course too, and finally crossed a particular line in Jeddah

Why thrilling Jeddah F1 circuit needs to be safer Prime

Why thrilling Jeddah F1 circuit needs to be safer

OPINION: Saudi Arabia's new F1 circuit delivered a memorable first event, although not necessarily for all the right reasons. In the wake of the chaotic race, drivers voiced their concerns about the track but small changes could make significant improvements ahead of a return in four months.

The long-term F1 vision causing Haas’s short-term pain Prime

The long-term F1 vision causing Haas’s short-term pain

From ranking as one of the most impressive new teams to join the Formula 1 grid, Haas’s stock has plummeted along with its on-track performances over the past two seasons. Everything now hangs on whether its reforged alliance with Ferrari can deliver a better car – and whether its rookie drivers can set aside their quarrels. Oleg Karpov asks if any of these goals are achievable…

Formula 1
Dec 8, 2021
Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Prime

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Prime

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Formula 1
Dec 4, 2021