Qualifying format revamp saga leaves Fernando Alonso 'sad for F1'

Fernando Alonso believes the mess surrounding potential changes to Formula 1's qualifying format for the 2016 season is "sad"

Qualifying format revamp saga leaves Fernando Alonso 'sad for F1'

F1 bosses are considering a revamp to the three-stage format that has been in place since 2006, introducing a knockout element at 90-second intervals in the closing stages of each segment.

But the changes have led to confusion about how to implement the system, which Alonso believes reflects poorly on F1.

"I'm sad for the sport because it doesn't look right from the outside when in one week we change the qualifying format three times," Alonso told reporters after the penultimate day of pre-season testing at Barcelona.

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"We pretend to change. No one has made anything official.

"If I was a foreman from another sport, I would look at Formula 1 a little bit surprised.

"I don't think it's right. There are too many changes, and the complexity of the rules for the spectators are quite high."

Several drivers met with FIA race director Charlie Whiting on Wednesday evening, and while Alonso did not attend, he said he agreed with those against the system.

"I was not in the meeting, but any of the things my mates will say, I will agree completely," he added.

"It's a unanimous thing. We want simplicity on the rules.

"All my friends here in Spain want to switch on the television and watch battles, big cars, big tyres, big noise and to enjoy the race.

"They [enjoy] other sports, but for us they only know about MGU-H, MGU-K, status charge, super-soft, used, mandatory, medium.

"It's things like that, so it's normal they switch off the television."

Alonso accepts that drivers will adapt to any qualifying system that is chosen, but he expressed an interest in returning to the single-lap format used prior to the 2006 changes.

"Even the one-lap format, the super pole we did, was quite spectacular," he said.

"Everyone has one lap of television coverage.

"It's simple, you do one lap, you brake late, you miss one corner, maybe you start 15th.

"There is also some adrenaline on that lap as well.

"I don't know, whatever they decide I will go for it, as I have done for the last 16 years."

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