Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Albert Park, 2016

New qualifying format favours top teams – Alonso

2016 Australian Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso has added his voice to the criticism of Formula One’s new qualifying format.

The McLaren driver feels the changes to qualifying hand a greater advantage to the teams with the most competitive cars as it forces the slower teams to use more sets of their softer tyres.

“Perhaps we need to give the new qualifying system a bit more time,” said Alonso. “However, I believe it favours the strongest teams and is a bit unfair towards the less competitive teams.”

“Because we’d used two sets of super-softs in Q1 – where I finished third – we only had one chance to run in Q2. On my first run I felt competitive, I was tenth, running under the same conditions and on the same rubber as everyone else. I was only 1.2s off the Mercedes, which was a nice surprise, but then I had to sit in the garage and watch how quali developed, which was a bit sad.”

“Of course, the top teams don’t need to use both sets of super-soft tyres in Q1, so the onus is on us to get back to being a top team again, and only use up one set of [super-softs] in Q1.”

Alonso contrasted F1’s qualifying with the one used by Moto GP. “Maybe we should do what Moto GP did in qualifying last year – where the less competitive teams could use softer tyres in qualifying. In Formula One, we’ve chosen to do the opposite.”

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier said he was “saddened” by the lack of spectacle in the new qualifying format.

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Keith Collantine
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12 comments on “New qualifying format favours top teams – Alonso”

  1. It’s important to point out that he said this -before- the absolute debacle of Q3.

  2. Or you could bring more SS tires?

  3. Maybe if McLaren developed the car along with the PU, you wouldn’t want an extra set of soft tires.

    The rules are the same for everyone and being a manufacturer team, I wouldn’t expect Honda to be waiting for bones thrown by the top teams.

  4. Honestly, why dont they put the drivers in charge of the rule making? I am sure they would come up with the right solutions for the right problems (as opposed to the wrong solutions for the wrong problems!)

  5. I like the MotoGP rule for giving less competitive teams faster tyres.

    But it was a good step for mclaren and hope we’ll see them going further up the grid through the season!

    1. Imagine Manor challenging Ferrari because of this? I already hear the outcry from Italy…

  6. Great thinking last 6 drivers in champ standing softest tires. Mid 6 medium, first 10 harder tire.

    Should help slowbie teams and not upset order to much.

    But potentially Ferrari could then fall out in Q3.. And we get 0 title challange from second team.

  7. Alonso is right, and lack at what happened to HAAS in q3, Guitierrez finished a lap just after being eliminated, a time that was a top 4 time at the time, and HAAS should have been in q2 fighting with Mclaren for race start position,maybe higher, instead that are second last.

  8. Anything that is approved in modern day f1 is to the benefit of the top teams, it goes without saying. As ive said before f1 should go with whatever the top teams don’t want to go.

    1. Are you people insane? This system may have benefited the top teams but they weren’t the ones that wanted it. Bernie was and now his playing the innocent while the teams are getting blamed for some reason.

  9. Formula 1, after today, is a global laughingstock. What a disaster. How you could take such a great motorsport and reduce it to such utter garbage is beyond my understanding….it’s as if the folks in control want to ruin F1. No wonder attendance is down as well as television viewership. If they implement that ridiculous looking safety cage next year, that may very well be it for me. I may have to turn my back on a sport I’ve loved since the mid 80’s as a young child. It’s just going in the complete wrong direction in my opinion. And to be clear, I’m all for driver safety, I just think the design the management is in favor of is completely preposterous, it not only looks the joke but I cannot imagine having a large black bar occasionally obstructing the drivers line of sight will improve “driver safety”.

  10. ALO is openly accepting McLaren is not a frontrunning team. We are making progress. Huge progress. But he is right. Current system helps the teams that dont need the softer compound to make it to Q2.

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