Drivers debate new qualifying
Formula 1 drivers are in a spin about the new rules on qualifying, fearing the introduction of Sunday morning sessions could be a real turn off for fans.

Under the new rules, to be unveiled at this weekend's Australian Grand Prix, each of the cars will run a single qualifying lap on Saturday. They will return the following morning to run a second lap with the combined times from the two runs deciding the starting grid.

McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa said the format was too confusing for spectators. "We have got to go back to basics," he said. "They (spectators) need to know the guy that's quickest is on pole position...you don't want the guy sitting in front of the tv with a calculator."

The format has been introduced by the FIA following complaints that last year's single-lap qualifying session was boring.

Briton Jensen Button said the rules would present new challenges to the teams but he was unsure about the public's reaction.

"It's going to be quite interesting because on Saturday we'll be running with low fuel and new tyres and on Sunday morning we'll come straight from that to running fuelled and old tyres," he said. "From the fan's point of view we really don't know so it's going to be very interesting."

Williams driver Mark Webber said he was concerned the new rules would turn qualifying into a lottery.

"I'm not that worried about the one-lap qualifying but I think aggregating the times is a little bit of a shame," he said. "The weather can definitely play more of a role in the lottery so that could prove a little bit frustrating."

World champion Michael Schumacher had mixed emotions about the new regulations and said he would prefer to see how they worked before passing judgement.

"Qualifying is always important; whether it has the same importance, we shall find out. With the new rules the way we maybe approach the weekend and the race might be different," he said.

"But I think we should first experience it before we talk about it, we haven't even done it yet so we can't really question it."
shares
comments
Petrobras stays with Williams

Previous article

Petrobras stays with Williams

Next article

Drivers in a Spin over New Qualifying

Drivers in a Spin over New Qualifying
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Julian Linden
How “overwhelming” McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve Plus

How “overwhelming” McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve

Daniel Ricciardo has found a new lease of life at McLaren – a move that’s been years in the making, as he explains to STUART CODLING…

The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari Plus

The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari

Ninety years ago, Rudolf Caracciola became the first non-Italian to win the epic Mille Miglia. We look at how he stacks up to the most famous pre-war ace Tazio Nuvolari, one of the drivers he beat on that day in 1931

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams Plus

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Formula 1’s latest Imola adventure turned into an expensive trip for many teams due to several crashes throughout the weekend. While balancing the books is an added factor in 2021 with the cost cap, a few midfield teams have cashed in early on development investments

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings

A frantic wet race at Imola produced plenty of excitement and drama as drivers scrabbled for grip. Amid the hatful of mistakes and incidents that ensued, who kept their noses cleanest?

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves Plus

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves

Rain before the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised to spice up the action, and the race certainly delivered on that. Max Verstappen got the best launch to win from Lewis Hamilton, but both got away with mistakes that could have had serious consequences

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Plus

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Formula 1
Apr 18, 2021
The clues Hamilton’s F1 contract afterthought gives to his future Plus

The clues Hamilton’s F1 contract afterthought gives to his future

The Formula 1 world reacted with surprise when it learned Lewis Hamilton’s long-awaited new Mercedes deal guarantees his presence on the grid only until the end of 2021. Both parties claimed publicly they were happy with the arrangement but, asks MARK GALLAGHER, is there more to it than that?

Formula 1
Apr 17, 2021
How a harshly ejected Red Bull star has been hooked by racing again Plus

How a harshly ejected Red Bull star has been hooked by racing again

Driver-turned-DJ Jaime Alguersuari lost his love for motorsport when he was booted out of Formula 1 just as he was starting to polish his rough edges. Having drifted from category to category then turned his back on racing altogether in 2015, he’s come full circle and is planning a return in karts for fun

Formula 1
Apr 17, 2021