Romain Grosjean, Haas, Monza, 2019

One-shot qualifying the only solution to out-lap problems – Grosjean

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In the round-up: Romain Grosjean says the only way to prevent a repeat of yesterday’s qualifying farce is to bring back one-shot qualifying, where each driver does a single lap time on their own.

What they say

Grosjean said a tow from another car in qualifying was worth four to six tenths of a second:

The only solution is that in Q3 everyone goes one-by-one so there is no slipstream effect. Because as long as you’re going to gain so much… It won’t be a problem in Singapore. Maybe in Sochi you’ll want a tow again. Obviously now we’ve got big rear wings, big front wings so the drag is up and you need the slipstream to go past. There’s going to be a lot of games coming up.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Not penalising Vettel for running wide at Parabolica was the correct call, says Neil:

I think that’s the right call.If sufficient doubt exists on a purely black-and-white issue like leaving the track and gaining an advantage (and it obviously does in this case), a penalty for something that was so close it won’t have given any lap time benefit anyway would just be silly.
Neil (@Neilosjames)

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On this day in F1

  • 45 years ago today both Ferraris retired from the lead at Monza, allowing Ronnie Peterson to with for Lotus by less than a second from Emerson Fittipaldi’s McLaren

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  • 32 comments on “One-shot qualifying the only solution to out-lap problems – Grosjean”

    1. something that was so close it won’t have given any lap time benefit anyway

      @neilosjames – that’s a reasonable take on the decision.

      1. Reasonable, yes. But so is starting 5mm outside the grid box no performance advantage… Yet we accept that it’s worthy of punishment.

    2. I just don’t see a problem. As I previously posted, the provisional grid made not going at all better than giving a rival a tow. It was exactly vwhat should have happened.

      1. Exactly my thoughts after Q3, I don’t think anyone will complain about their starting position, grid looks logical and nobody has a good reason to give an advantage to the others as there was more to lose than to gain.

        Regarding Grosjean comment, I wrote it yesterday and still think the better system would be to have delta time per track segments as for VSC instead of max lap time on outlap. It prevents them driving unnecessary slowly on any part of the lap, make it safer and less farcical.

      2. Exactly. There is no problem, actually a very interesting lesson in game theory.

    3. I think the f1 qualifying format is essentially fine. On some tracks slipstreaming can be worth some time but I feel it is pretty much the only major issue with the qualifying. Although the tire rule for top10 cars is a bit annoying and being 11th is typically much better than being 10th. Q2 is a bit of a boring because you know which cars will be top 6 almost everytime and for the other 4 it isn’t really exciting either because the tv focuses on the top teams anyways.

      However if F1 qualifying was changed to shootout format here is how I’d do it. You’d have 3 sessions like now. Q1, Q2 and Q3 which decides the pole. But only the last Q3 session would be a shootout.

      Q1 is where everybody drives. 18 minutes long, exactly like Q1 now. The difference would be how drivers progress from Q1 onwards. In my system the top 6 go to Q1 directly from Q3 and the positions from 7 to 14 go to Q2. The rest 15-20 are out. Q2 is 12 minutes long and is where positions from 7 to 14 participate. They do their session like now and that sessions defines the positions from 7 to 14. Maybe the top qualifier get to Q3.

      Q3 is the one lap shootout with maybe 15 minutes in length. The driver with fastest lap in Q1 decides whether he goes first or last and that sets the order for the rest of them as well. In the session drivers do an out lap, one fast lap and then back to pits. As one car starts their fast lap the next one leaves from pits to do their warmup lap.

      Benefits from this new system is that Q2 is more exciting as you have the mid field battle with 100% tv focus on them. You have midfield teams getting more publicity and there is also excitement who is fastest and gets to Q3. If some driver does bad job in Q1 then he can still attempt to get to Q3 from Q2. Q3 is exciting as it is just one lap and we get to see their full laps. There are no slipstreaming pancake games and teams forcing their second drivers to slipstream their number one drivers. The top6 are out of reach for the rest so stop pretending and have top 6 have their own session. Makes no sense to 10 cars in q3 when the last 4 barely have any reason to even participate in it.

      But like I said the current format is essentially fine and the issues are mostly very track specific like the monza slipstreaming issues. One solution that was proposed some time ago was going from 3 qualifying sessions to 4. I think it would be a major downgrade as Q2 is easily the dullest session of them all and having two of them just makes things worse.

      1. Just wanted to add that if you have 20 car shootout qualifying you need some way or a session to define in which order the cars go out. With the system I proposed the order is set in previous sessions and the fastest driver gets to choose whether they go first or last which also removes the danger of rain and track improvement changing the conditions to favour a random driver.

      2. I completely agree.
        F1 has tried changing the format many times and we still had similar farce when it was one shot qualifying.
        Because for fairness you have to have then go again in a different order.
        Can we remember Barichello and Schumacher at Silverstone running wide or spinning just so they will have an advantage in the second run

        1. I’m not married to any of these ideas, but as long as we’re spitballing ideas…

          They don’t have to go twice, and it doesn’t have to be “fair” in the way you’re implying. It only needs to be fair in the sense that the same rules apply to everyone. And it’s an opportunity to put in a negative feedback loop to keep the top teams from always having the biggest advantages. Send them out in Q3 in the order they finished in the race the prior week. They always want to go last unless weather doesn’t favor it, because the track rubbers in and typically gets faster. Race winner from last race goes first and so on so it’s the underdogs getting the benefit of the grip improving toward the end. I believe that’s the way it works in FE, which is one of the things I like about that series. I’m not a fan of weight penalties like in BTCC, nor of time penalties like Blancpain. But especially in F1 where the playing field is not level, make the teams with massive advantages have the least preferable qualifying order. They are typically fast enough that it won’t matter, and between the top teams the benefit from going one spot latter isn’t going to be significant enough to make it a done deal. But from the first driver who won, to the last driver who came in farthest down the order, the track evolution might make the difference. We also get to watch the first driver wait to see if anyone can lay down a better time.

          If there is a session where they get to go more than once, we pull from Indycar to suppress the shenanigans: anyone who causes a yellow or red flag to interfere with the next driver gets their time deleted and they don’t get to go again.

          1. @lunaslide

            And it’s an opportunity to put in a negative feedback loop to keep the top teams from always having the biggest advantages.

            That’s basically F1’s entire problem in general and it’s solution, right there.

          2. Why not just have them toss a coin and have a completely random grid and be done with all the trouble of coming up with crazy rules to add artificial spice to an event

            1. Because randomness doesn’t necessarily equate to increased excitement, and it certainly doesn’t build anticipation toward it. But challenging the the most capable with the biggest challenge and seeing them succeed in spite of it is exciting. And seeing someone with less advantages rise to the challenge and defeat them is also exciting.

              Like I said, I’m just throwing things out there. For most of the tracks, I think qualifying format works pretty well. However, there is a sense of inevitability seeing the same cars and the same drivers take the top positions deflates the anticipation a bit, and watching the same teams and drivers get dropped early is a bit disheartening. There isn’t any convention in sport so sacred that it isn’t worth questioning now and then.

      3. @socksolid

        I think the f1 qualifying format is essentially fine.

        The current format, for the most part, serves F1’s current goal for qualifying: put the fastest cars at the front of the grid before the race. Now, if the goal is to create a grid line-up on Saturday that induces good and exciting racing on Sunday, then the current format doesn’t do a good job at all.

        Essentially if you line up the cars from fast to slow to begin a race with, you allow the fastest car to use his pace in clean air to run away from the field and for the rest to follow suit. You are creating your own processional races….

    4. Am I the only one that loved todays qualy session and found it entertaining

      1. @carlosmedrano I see nothing wrong with it at all and I don’t understand why people are talking about penalties.
        Nobody actually did anything wrong. They all just got it wrong.

      2. Loved it.
        It’s a bit like that funny indoor cycling racing ;)

      3. I think it was so ridiculous that it could not help but be entertaining. But I don’t want to see it again, it won’t be nearly so cute the next time. I don’t pay for cable or streaming to watch the Benny Hill show, I can catch that in reruns.

    5. One shot qualifying in the order of drivers championship standings with 9-9-2 elimination format.

    6. Why the rush to find a knee jerk answer? This happened once, it’s threatened to happen a couple other times, sometimes we see the opposite where everyone is going slow trying to make a gap, it’s just part of the gamesmanship of qualifying.
      There is no “fair” way to qualify the cars, one shot disadvantages the first car most of the time, the old 12 lap for one hour session left the track empty for half the session, this three part is entertaining and creates problems for the teams, it’s fine.
      This nonsense of not getting a fast lap looks pretty unlikely to happen again, but even if it does it’s the teams own fault, they can fix it by not being stupid, or they can suffer it if they continue to be stupid.}
      The bigger problem has been the backing up to make a gap, that slow stuff while others are fast is crazy dangerous, so a minimum lap time would protect from that and should be rigorously enforced, it might have even have helped in this session.
      If the FIA penalised Hulkenberg, Sainz and Stroll for holding the rest up and driving below a minimum lap time, then the teams wouldn’t let their drivers repeat it.

    7. More worried about the tv director than the qualy format. There was a guy lapping, yet, I was watching nothing.

      1. Exactly my thoughts.

      2. These days that seems to happen all too often, we sit looking at the pits, yes it can be interesting but should not happen with cars on the track.

        1. Its been since Silverstone. Looking at the crowd whilst an overtake is still in progress. Didn’t even see Ham win in Hungary; instead a shot of the crowd followed by someone waving the chequered flag. And this new guy has still not worked out the difference between a hot lap and a cool down lap during practice. And yesterday everyone was trying to watch the driver second in the tow; except for this guy. I think he just selects shots at random; an obvious attack is about to happen and this guy puts up a shot of a wag in the garage, or some mechanic with his back to the camera.

    8. No, no, and no. The only solution is to go out earlier as I’ve stated before: Maybe the FIA should impose a time limit on when to go out at the ‘very latest’ in QLF. For example, everyone must leave the garage with a minimum of three full minutes left to start a flying lap, not any later. Even with everyone going out at the same time, none of this mess would’ve happened had they done it with three minutes left rather than two. Going out 30-60 seconds earlier isn’t rocket science, LOL.

      I agree with the COTD. The decision indeed was correct in the end, given the amount of doubt involved. It simply wasn’t clear-cut enough to make a definite judgment.

      1. @jerejj IF the FIA would say “you can’t leave the pits anymore with 3 min to go” the only thing that happens is that we move up the problem by 3 min.

    9. Wow this Citroen DS3 Cup crash was unbelievable! As far as I can count 10 cars bunched up there, red flag out and tow trucks already arrived at the carsh scene while some other race cars still on track (evenmore there is a man that running towards the crashed cars). Motorsports is a comunity, yes, but sometimes people are acting irrationaly. Come on, we need to be better than that.

      1. Assuming that all came out unscratched I found this hilarious.
        A bit worried though that the 30 car crashed into the pile after the red flag was out and the tow truck out there.

      2. @bnwllc3, it was actually 11 cars; the leading 11 cars of the race.
        Not sure if the tow truck or the marshal on foot was leading the race after that ;)

    10. Can’t say I agree with sending them out one by one. Certain times to go out have an inherent advantage due to track evolution of weather.

      The current format works just fine, yes qualifying was a little farcical but it was the natural result of just letting them compete, they all called each others bluff and threw the chance to set a time away.

      If they want a rule against it then I’d suggest something like a faster version of the virtual safety car for their outlap. Minimum speeds so there’s no game playing like this slowing down trying to force others to pass you.

    11. Q1 same
      Q2 same
      Q3, shootout laps, order is determined by drivers, choice given to drivers based on Q2 laps.
      This makes Q2 laptimes slightly more valuable than they are today, and keeps the integrity of what is a great qualy system.

    12. Q1 and Q2 the same as now. The time in Q2 gives the order of which drivers can choose their place in the order to drive in the shootout of the last 10 drivers. (superpole system for only 10 drivers)
      Depending of the weather its not always nice to start in a fixed order. Giving the driver an option to start first of last ( or any place in between) for his superpole run avoids strategic drives in Q2 and spices things up.

    13. The F1 qualifying method is a fiasco.
      The solution is easy – one car on the track at a time same as Indy car.
      I can’t understand why the FIA uses this crazy method where cars can cheat using slipstreams and the chance of hindering other cars is real and often happens.
      Ridiculous.

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