Fernando Alonso has enjoyed Formula 1’s foray into sprint qualifying but reckons one set of tyres and one attempt in Friday’s qualifying would make it “more spicy”.
The double World Champion rose to the occasion as Formula 1 trialled sprint qualifying for the British Grand Prix.
Although he only qualified P11 on Friday evening, missing out on a Q3 berth by 0.025s, he put in a blinder of an opening lap in Saturday’s evening sprint qualifying.
Shooting his way from 11th to fifth on his soft Pirellis, he was passed by both McLarens during the 17-lap race but held off Sebastian Vettel in the closing laps to finish P7.
Alonso enjoyed the trial but reckons there is still more that can be done to spice it up.
“When I was watching races at home Friday meant nothing because the long runs are very important for the teams but not for the people at home,” he said via The Race on Saturday after qualifying.
“I hope we can keep this format and if anything I will suggest Fridays could be more spicy. Like having one set of tyres and one attempt by everybody. It gives the same chance to everyone – it’s not unfair or a reverse order or anything like that.
“But if we get one chance it’s the same for everyone and maybe it will change something. Because we saw yesterday with six attempts, six sets of tyres, we finish in the performance order of our cars, like every qualifying. Maybe we can change that.”
Vettel, who battled Alonso for position late in the grand prix as the former World Champs turned back the clock, reckons the sprint qualifying weekend format is “better” than having a bunch of practice sessions.
It’s a P8 for Sebastian at the #F1Sprint 🏁
That means he will start tomorrow’s race from P8!
— Sebastian Vettel #5 (@sebvettelnews) July 17, 2021
“We love racing, it’s a little race and it’s weird because it’s by far the shortest race I have done in years, but yeah, it’s not bad.
“I think yesterday [Friday] to be honest was good fun, to have already something on a Friday that matters, that was nice.
“I could see that maybe in the future there will be more of this. The people liked it, I guess it’s better than a bunch of free practices.”