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Barcelona F1 Test [2]: Qualifying debacle leaves Alonso ‘sad’ for F1

Fernando Alonso: In one week we change the qualifying format three times. Or we pretend to change. No one officialises anything...
Fernando Alonso has expressed his frustration with the current indecision afflicting Formula 1's progress as its qualifying format faces uncertainty with just two weeks' to go until the 2016 opening round.

The sport had been due to shake up the qualifying format by introducing a rolling knockout feature to replace the current knockout system. However, the format received a lukewarm reception from drivers and fans, before it transpired it could be delayed to the Spanish Grand Prix in May anyway due to a software timing issue.

A revised proposal that would see the first two stages of qualifying run to the new format, with the final stage unchanged, was mooted, but a meeting of the drivers and the FIA has put it back under threat altogether.

Coming just two weeks before the Australian Grand Prix gets underway and the latest in a string of proposals that are amended after they are first revealed, Alonso says the whole situation leaves him 'sad' for the state of the sport, adding he understands why viewers are switching off.

“It's sad. I am sad,” he said. “I am sad for the sport because it does not look right from the outside when in one week we change the qualifying format three times. Or we pretend to change. No one officialises anything. If I were a sportsman from another sport I will look at Formula One a little bit surprised about that.

“I don't think that it is right. And the change, there are too many changes. The complexity of the rule also for the spectator is quite high. I think all my friends here in Spain they want to switch on the television and watch battles, big cars, big tyres, big noise and enjoy the race like they do with other sports.

“But for us they only know MGU-H, MGU-K, State of Charge, Supersoft, use mandatory medium tyre. When you are fourth in the race, three laps to the end you need to stop because you need to put another mandatory tyre. Things like that it's normal that they switch off the television.”

Discussing the qualifying format itself, Alonso says he doesn't understand why it must undergo a change, saying simplicity is key to the rules.

“We want simplicity on the rules. Even the one-lap format, super-pole that we did in 2005 was quite spectacular. Every one has one-lap television coverage. It's simple. You do one lap, you brake late, maybe you start 15th because you miss a corner.

“There is some adrenalin on that lap as well. Whatever they decide we will go for it as we have done for the last 16 years.”

by Ollie Barstow

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Fernando Alonso (ESP), McLaren Honda  03.03.2016.
Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MP4-31 practices a pit stop. 03.03.2016.
Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MP4-31 covered in flow-vis paint. 03.03.2016.
Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren. 23.02.2016.
Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren. 23.02.2016.
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March 03, 2016 8:34 PM

He's right. It's sad that F1 is no longer about everything being of the ultimate performance. Too much 'management' and 'strategy' from the garage instead of the driver being left to his own devices to win a race. There was nothing wrong with hour long qualifying session of old except for the odd day when it would rain after 5 minutes and nothing would happen. At least your knew the lap that got pole really deserved it and wasn't some strategic choice to start on a certain tyre type for the race. Motorsport seems to suck more as technology progresses. In the 80s technology meant brute force like Group B rally cars and turbos. Now it's engineers telling drivers what to do. I feel we've passed the golden age and everything will go up it's own ****. I'd rather watch a Duke video of the 1992 BTCC than F1 in its current state. Maybe I'm just getting old.....

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