September 25, 2021

Alonso: F1 too preoccupied with “improving the show” | 2021 Italian Grand Prix

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Formula 1 concerns itself too much with trying to “improve the show”, says Fernando Alonso, after a processional sprint qualifying prompted more calls for changes.

The series is experimenting with the sprint qualifying format at three races this year. Today’s race saw few changes of position after the first lap, prompting criticism of the format.

Alonso said Formula 1 should ask whether it needs to revise its race weekend format, pointing out other sports do not keep changing their rules to create more excitement.

“I think Formula 1 is always pursuing an improvement that sometimes this is not needed, in a way,” said the two-times world champion. “I don’t see any other sport being so worried about making or improving the show.

“I see football, which normally is the king of sports, and there are so many games that are so boring. And the following week there is not any drama, there is not any change.

“There are not suggestions how to change the game to make the goal bigger, to play without a goalkeeper to improve the show. There are no dramas.

“The sport is at it is and Formula 1 should be happy and proud as a show because it is a very big thing. So that’s the first thing.”

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If Formula 1 is to pursue further changes Alonso believes they should address the forgiving nature of the current qualifying system, which he believes makes it easy for drivers to avoid being compromised by mistakes.

“My feeling is that the Friday is what is maybe dictating the rest of the weekend. Because the qualifying is made by the car performance, not by the driver input.

“When you have only one set of tyres or one attempt – okay, the car is the most important thing – but the driver has to deliver on that minute-and-a-half. When you have one hour and six sets of tyres, you made one mistake, you make two mistakes, but then you put another set of tyres, you make another mistake, okay, you put another set of tyres and at the end you finish in the position you deserve or the car deserves.

“So that will be my opinion with experience. To really add some difficulty on Friday, maybe giving only one attempt, not six.”

F1 is considering more extreme changes to the race weekend format next year, including a reverse-grid race, which Alonso is not a fan of.

“The reverse grid, I would take it because I’m in a slow car. But I don’t think that is fair, and I don’t think that Formula 1 should make that revolution either.”

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