Williams Support More Qualifying Change

Williams technical director Sam Michael has given his support to a new proposal, originally emanating from McLaren, which will separate performance at one race from having an influence on the next

Williams Support More Qualifying Change

For tomorrow's European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring, the grid was decided by just one qualifying session instead of the aggregate system used so far this year. Each driver ran a single lap carrying the fuel level with which he will begin tomorrow's race. The order for qualifying was set by the reverse order of the previous race, with the winner running his qualifying lap last.

However, teams increasingly do not like the idea that a bad result in one race, whether through poor performance or through a mechanical failure or accident beyond a driver's control, automatically penalises him in the next Grand Prix.

Going early in the running order for the next qualifying session is always a disadvantage because the track surface tends to become quicker as more rubber goes down. Returning to one qualifying session, of course, means that drivers have less chance to compensate for that disadvantage.

"I do not want to get involved in extended discussions about qualifying because I know how difficult it is to change things," Michael said, "but one thing I do feel strongly about is decoupling one race from the next race weekend. I think it is much better when everyone goes to a race on a level playing field."

And Mercedes Motorsport boss Norbert Haug added: "This is only a personal view but, quite honestly, I think it was much better when everyone ran together on the track at the same time, with the same opportunities, the way the system used to be.

"I think back to a situation where you could have had a fight for a World Championship decided by one driver qualifying on a dry track and the other on a wet track. We have a highly technical, expensive sport and I don't think that anybody would have found that satisfactory."

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