Fears new F1 qualifying format will be a dud

4 months ago 26

Formula One volition enactment speech 70 years of contented this weekend, with the instauration of a sprint contention to determine the grid for the British Grand Prix.

It's the archetypal clip since the satellite title started successful 1950 that a contention has been utilized to acceptable the grid.

The alteration successful format volition spot accepted qualifying determination to Friday, with that league to find the commencement bid for Saturday's sprint contention of 100km. The finishing bid successful Saturday's sprint contention volition acceptable the starting grid for Sunday's expansive prix, which is inactive implicit the accustomed region of conscionable implicit 300km.

A tiny fig of title points are connected connection for the sprint race, with 3 points for the winner, 2 for 2nd and 1 for third. That compares with 25 points for winning the contention connected Sunday.

It's that differential that has observers disquieted that Saturday's contention volition crook into a procession, with the hazard acold outweighing the reward. Any rotation oregon contented connected Saturday volition person immense implications for Sunday's race, which is wherever the bulk of the title points volition beryllium available.

Daniel Ricciardo drives his McLaren during qualifying for the F1 Monaco Grand Prix. (dpa/picture confederation via Getty I)

"People similar change, but I deliberation the drivers are going to beryllium precise blimpish successful the sprint race," nine-time expansive prix victor Mark Webber told Wide World of Sports.

"There's lone 3 points for the victor of the sprint race, and thing if you decorativeness 4th oregon lower, and there's conscionable truthful overmuch astatine involvement connected Sunday that drivers won't instrumentality the hazard connected Saturday.

"They'll beryllium mindful of immoderate drama, due to the fact that it's lone 100 kilometres, truthful there's a small spot of clip to retrieve from a mistake, but not a lot. Teams and drivers volition beryllium alert of that successful their preparation."

Sprint qualifying volition beryllium utilized successful 3 events this play arsenic a trial, with the format expected to instrumentality astatine the Italian and Brazilian races.

Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris (Getty)

Despite receiving unanimous enactment from the 10 teams, outgoing FIA brag Jean Todt revealed precocious that he's not a fan.

The 75-year-old, who was astatine the helm of Ferrari during Michael Schumacher's aureate era, says helium doesn't judge the athletics needs sprint qualifying, but admitted helium was funny to spot however it played out.

For his part, Webber is not against trialling antithetic formats.

"They're trying stuff, I'm ever up for caller things and this is the archetypal attempt. But the Sunday contention is similar a Test lucifer for us, successful presumption of attraction and focus, I'd liken sprint qualifying to the Big Bash," helium said.

"F1 is trying to bash thing antithetic to make immoderate interest, conscionable similar T20 cricket, we'll spot however it goes.

Red Bull operator Max Verstappen victorious again successful Austria. (Getty)

"I don't cognize if F1 needs to bash it close now, but the thought came disconnected the backmost of truthful galore years of Mercedes dominance. In 2019 oregon 2020 radical were looking to marque it much competitive. But Max (Verstappen) and Lewis (Hamilton) person done that anyhow this year."

The instauration of sprint qualifying came connected the backmost of years of Mercedes dominance, though the wheels were successful question for the format alteration earlier the 2021 play started. With Verstappen and Red Bull eclipsing Mercedes this season, the shake-up that fans had longed for happened anyway.

"F1 is inactive the pinnacle, and arsenic we've seen truthful far, this twelvemonth is 1 of the champion we've had for a agelong time, without introducing immoderate changes astatine all," Webber said.

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton connected his mode to 4th astatine the Austrian Grand Prix. (Getty)

"With Lewis and Max astatine their champion it's been extraordinary, the prime has been insane.

"Like astatine the French race, wherever Max passed Lewis close astatine the end, and Bahrain, erstwhile they were battling to the finish."

Verstappen holds a 32 constituent pb implicit Hamilton successful the title on the backmost of 3 consecutive contention wins, though with the mid-point of the play inactive a period away, the Mercedes operator remains good successful contention for an eighth satellite title.

"I deliberation the adjacent 2 races are crucial," Webber explained.

"Lewis is precise beardown astatine Silverstone and Budapest, truthful if helium tin get connected a rotation determination the momentum mightiness displacement backmost towards him.

"Lewis volition ne'er springiness up, he's extraordinary. Red Bull close present person a somewhat amended car, and Max is making the astir of it. As always, the champion drivers find themselves successful the champion cars.

"But the spine of this title is the adjacent 2 races."

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