Romain Grosjean has dismissed the idea of changing Formula 1’s qualifying format to include a new fourth part and believes the structure remains the sport’s best option.

Over the second half of last season F1 chief Ross Brawn proposed the idea of a new Q4 format to see the top eight go into a pole position shootout. Any qualifying format changes must be given backing from all F1 teams and after a mixed reception over the winter any tweaks were delayed until after the 2019 season.

Talk of the Q4 format has returned as part of Liberty Media’s overreaching shake-up in F1, but Haas driver Grosjean feels the change would only hamper the spectacle while bringing more negatives than positives for the midfield teams.

“I don’t really see the point. I think three is pretty cool and a top 10 shootout is pretty nice,” Grosjean said. “We’ve tried many qualifying sessions and it hasn’t changed the world.

“2016 was the shootout. I remember in Bahrain, I was P8 and was hoping someone would push me out so I would start ninth to have free tyres.

“I think it’s actually a disadvantage for the midfield – five of the top three cars weren’t on the medium in qualifying, for them it won’t change anything. Then you have two poor guys starting, so it is sometimes it’s positive, but when it’s negative it is not good.

“I don’t think a fix is needed. Look at the midfield battle, it’s two or three tenths to P7 to P15. It’s amazing.”

Plans to freshen up F1’s qualifying format were triggered following dud Q2 sessions seen in 2017 and 2018 when a number of cars carrying hefty grid penalties would qualify from Q1 but then not contest Q2 – effectively meaning the order would be sorted without competitive lap times being set.



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