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Saturday, September 18, 2021

Alonso suggests return of one-shot qualifying to assist F1 dash races

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F1 staged its second sprint race on Saturday at Monza after debuting the format at Silverstone earlier this yr, holding a 100km race to set the grid for Sunday’s grand prix.

The dash race supplied few on-track overtakes and has drawn criticism from followers, whereas Purple Bull’s Sergio Perez called it “very boring” under its current format.

Alpine driver Alonso was one of many few drivers to make an on-track overtake after the primary lap at Monza on Saturday, passing Sebastian Vettel as he rose from thirteenth on the grid to complete eleventh.

The 2-time F1 world champion mentioned the present dash race format was “good” and “extra enjoyable” because it supplied followers extra motion than regular on a race weekend.

Alonso felt the true difficulty resulting in a scarcity of motion in dash races was the beginning order of the vehicles, pointing to Friday’s qualifying session as a spot the place a shake-up ought to happen.

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“I nonetheless assume that Friday is the actually level that we have to enhance,” Alonso mentioned.

“If qualifying remains to be six units of tyres, we’ll ultimately end within the pure order of the efficiency of the vehicles. So in Saturday dash race, we’ll begin in our place, [and] we’ll end in our place.

“Whereas if the format in qualifying on Friday is slightly bit completely different, only one lap or one thing… for instance yesterday in Q2, I locked up the entrance tyres into Flip 1, and with that lap, I’d begin final in the present day, as a result of I made a mistake.

“I’ll pay the worth, begin final, and perhaps in the present day I’ve a tough job to do. There’s a sense of the dash qualifying. It will likely be extra spicy.

“I nonetheless assume the identical [I did] after Silverstone after Monza. The Friday is the factor that we have to, if attainable, change the pure order of the vehicles.”

Fernando Alonso, Alpine F1, is interviewed

Picture by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Alonso added that having just one lap in qualifying would “actually add some problem” and punish drivers for making any errors.

F1 final used a one-lap qualifying format again in 2005 earlier than shifting to the three stage construction in 2006 that’s nonetheless used to this present day.

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Requested by Autosport if he wish to see one-shot qualifying at simply dash races or throughout the entire season, Alonso mentioned each might work collectively on each weekend.

Whereas he recognised that there have been some circuits the place dash races wouldn’t work – similar to Monaco, fearing it might be “boring Saturday and boring Sunday” – he thought one-lap qualifying might assist convey added thrill in locations to combine up the order.

“Think about one lap in Monaco and also you solely have that lap,” Alonso mentioned.

“And there may be observe evo, or perhaps there may be climate. Perhaps the leaders of the championship begin first, and also you make a mega lap, with the observe evolution and also you begin on the primary row of the grid, one thing like that.

“Perhaps there may be one weekend the place you might be fortunate, and you’ll carry out on one thing additional.

“Now, your arms are tied. Even when you have inspiration sooner or later, in case your automobile is the fifth quickest, you’ll end ninth and tenth.”

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