McLaren's de Ferran: Messing with qualifying could hurt win 'value'

McLaren sporting director Gil de Ferran is not in favour of any Formula 1 format overhaul that would reduce the "value" of winning a grand prix

McLaren's de Ferran: Messing with qualifying could hurt win 'value'

F1 bosses have considered the merit of shaking up how race weekends work and even discussed adding a qualifying race before the main event.

De Ferran, a Champ Car champion and Indianapolis 500 winner, says he is a "traditionalist" who fears the prestige of scoring a grand prix victory could be hurt by such a move.

"Qualifying is to determine the fastest guy," he said.

"It's the time of the weekend you don't have to worry about the brakes, you don't have to worry about the fuel, you don't have to worry about saving your tyres or anything like that.

"You just push like mad and do the best lap time you can. I always found that interesting even as a young fan.

"So, I'm a traditionalist in the sense that I like qualifying to determine the fastest guy and I like the race being a standalone sort of thing.

"I think it's important that we don't commoditise the races. Winning a grand prix has a lot of meaning.

"If you can call yourself a grand prix winner I think that carries a lot of weight and I think we must preserve that value."

F1 is considering a qualifying tweak for next season, but it is only a minor change from the current format and would add an extra knockout stage.

De Ferran said he is a big fan of the three-part qualifying system F1 first introduced in 2006.

"I think of everything I've seen over the years, that's a pretty wide range including Friday qualifying and Saturday qualifying, a limited number of laps, single laps, one set of tyres per weekend, the whole gambit," said de Ferran.

"This is still my favourite type of qualifying.

"The most important thing in qualifying at least for me when I'm watching is I want to know the fastest guy is on pole.

"As a driver I took a lot of pride in qualifying, I always wanted to be the fastest guy.

"I think this format is the best to actually determine that, so when you are on pole position it has some meaning and some value and I quite like that.

"Every format I've seen over the years there are some positives and some negatives but on balance when I look at this format it's my preferred format."

shares
comments
How Grosjean made Haas give another F1 lifeline

Previous article

How Grosjean made Haas give another F1 lifeline

Next article

Romain Grosjean: German GP key to saving Haas Formula 1 seat

Romain Grosjean: German GP key to saving Haas Formula 1 seat
Load comments
Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool Plus

Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool

Windtunnel work forms the bedrock of aerodynamic development in Formula 1. But as PAT SYMONDS explains, advances in virtual research are signalling the end of these expensive and complicated relics

Formula 1
Jun 13, 2021
Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Plus

Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. STUART CODLING weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising

Formula 1
Jun 12, 2021
Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture Plus

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture

Sergio Perez has spent most of his career labouring in Formula 1’s midfield, wondering whether he’d ever get another shot at the big time. Red Bull has handed him that chance and, although life at the top is tough, the Baku winner is doing all the right things to get on terms with Max Verstappen, says BEN ANDERSON

Formula 1
Jun 11, 2021
What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight Plus

What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight

Formula 1 has been tracking car performance using timing loops mounted every 200m around each circuit – to the extent that it was able to anticipate Ferrari’s 'surprise’ pole in Monaco. PAT SYMONDS explains what this means for this season and beyond

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with Plus

The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with

OPINION: After consecutive street races with contrasting highlights, one theme stood out which has become a prevalent issue with modern Formula 1 cars. But is there a way to solve it or, at least, reach a happy middle ground to help all parties?

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The changes behind a ‘feel-good’ F1 result in Baku Plus

The changes behind a ‘feel-good’ F1 result in Baku

OPINION: The Azerbaijan Grand Prix had elements that make Formula 1 really exciting – unpredictability and shock results. This resulted in heartbreak for several of the championship’s regular contenders and joy for others who rarely reach the ultimate limelight. And one of those on the Baku podium is riding a wave of form he’s keen to continue

Formula 1
Jun 9, 2021
The human cost to replacing Formula 1's cancelled rounds Plus

The human cost to replacing Formula 1's cancelled rounds

OPINION: With the global pandemic still lingering, Singapore's grand prix has been cancelled for 2021, with more looking likely to follow. Although Formula 1 has TV deals and profits to chase, retaining a 23-race calendar could be most harmful to those who sacrifice the most for the championship

Formula 1
Jun 8, 2021
Azerbaijan Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Azerbaijan Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An eventful weekend in Baku full of incident and drama lent the race result an unusual feel, as three drivers scored their first podiums of the year. But it wasn't the eventual race winner who scored top marks in our driver ratings

Formula 1
Jun 7, 2021