The lack of spectacle of the Sprint Qualification yesterday at Monza is widely criticized. Mercedes F1 manager Toto Wolff doesn’t like the weekend format it brings, and feels the drivers have to be too careful during this fast-paced race.
« First of all, everyone is confused » Judge Wolff. “I don’t know how it goes for you, I don’t even know which session is when. serious risk. «
« There are too few points at stake and the risk of jeopardizing your Sunday Grand Prix with points up to tenth is just not worth it. »
« So what we saw is a combination of overall difficulty in overtaking, because the straight-line speeds are very similar. But also because even in the first and second corners nobody is taking a risk. »
This is why Formula 1 plans to make it an independent event and better rewarded in the weekend. But Wolff wants to see what such a format will have to offer in Brazil, in November: « We’re going to do another test in Brazil, we’ll see if anything changes. »
Wolff is skeptical of the need for such a change in format, as the season is contested, but believes the Sprint Qualifier deserved a try, unlike other formats that have been rejected outright in the past.
« We resisted past experiences because they were too controversial and above all because they went against what the sport stands for, which is real racing. »
“We now have great personalities and the sport is broadcast in the right way. And people know it’s a meritocracy, the best man and the best machine wins. And you can see this year that there is just more. cars that are really competitive and a really good fight at the top. «
“So whatever conclusion we all take together, the teams, the FIA and the FOM in the F1 Commission, whether we give up or continue, I think we have to do it with caution. turns out interesting, there will be an urge to continue. «
Wolff, on the other hand, remains entirely opposed to inverted grids: « It’s diluting the DNA of the sport which is a meritocracy. I think the Srint Qualifiers are worth a try, but I’m not sure we’re going to keep them. »
« But the reverse grid can be done in promotion formulas where you want to see the drivers’ overtaking abilities, and it’s not something we should just consider in Formula 1. »
Wolff would not be against a more radical change in the format of the weekends, with one less free session but the return of a warm-up: « Start Friday afternoon with the ELs, do the FP2s on Saturday morning, do a conventional qualifying like we do on a fantastic Grand Prix on Sunday. »
« And maybe you want to do a warm-up on Sunday morning, I don’t know, maybe that can add a plus for people. But in any case, I would just shorten the free practice sessions. so that there is more variability in the results, in order to keep the rest as it is. «