McLaren: Quali change could de-value F1 win

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F1 may be looking at ways to “spice up the show” and one avenue could be tweaking the current qualifying format. I’ve read that the owners are considering adding a 4th session for the top eight cars etc. There have been discussions about a qualifying race before the main race etc.

McLaren’s sporting director, Gil De Ferran, doesn’t like the idea of messing around with the qualifying format.

“Qualifying is to determine the fastest guy,” he said.

“It’s the time of the weekend you don’t have to worry about the brakes, you don’t have to worry about the fuel, you don’t have to worry about saving your tyres or anything like that.

“You just push like mad and do the best lap time you can. I always found that interesting even as a young fan.

“So, I’m a traditionalist in the sense that I like qualifying to determine the fastest guy and I like the race being a standalone sort of thing.

“I think it’s important that we don’t commoditize the races. Winning a grand prix has a lot of meaning.

“If you can call yourself a grand prix winner I think that carries a lot of weight and I think we must preserve that value.”

I’m in the same camp as Gil but what do you think? Many fans comments that I have read seem to think this is the best qualifying format ever but could it be better? Let us know what you think? Would any change hurt the value of a win?

Hat Tip: Autosport

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go ahead, ruin the best part of race weekend


Quail is fine.
F1 needs to continue to make the cars less aero-sensitive and adjust rules to favor flat-out running (as opposed to tyre preservation and fuel saving). I get a little frustrated with F1’s attempts to “spice things up” by treating the symptoms instead of the illness (ie DRS to help passing).


Seems to me, qualifying was put in place for safety reasons. Fastest at the front… longest lasting, most fuel efficient, etc. have a chance (another path) to victory.

On the other hand, why not simply draw straws and skip Saturday all together? Think of the spectacle with Maldonado type incidents every lap! Exciting!


The problem with Qualifying is that the same cars keep getting pole position. It’s not the format. If you want to make it more interesting, change the chassis and engine regulations so other teams can be competitive.

Bob Dompe

I’m OK with the current quali format. It certainly helps keep at least a few cars on track for most of the quali session. However, I’m old as dirt and much prefer the older format where quali was a single one hour session, all laps were timed and fastest lap over the one hour took pole, etc. There were plenty of times when there was no action on track at the start, lasting as long as 20-30 minutes. Then a mad dash and lots of complaints about a crowded track. I guess you can’t satisfy everyone.


“If it aint broke don’t fix it” – said nobody ever inside Formula 1


I don’t see the need to change qualifying necessarily, but if they are going to change it, then have a number of short qualifying heats: Keep FP1 as is, to allow cars to be set up for the circuit; FP2 on Friday afternoon becomes heat 1, a half hour race, grid order as per championship positions; FP3 on Saturday morning becomes heat 2, another half hour race, grid order reversed championship positions; Qualifying is replaced by heat 3, with the grid order determined by the aggregate of heats 1 and 2. The finishing order of heat 3 will be the… Read more »


Look what happened last time they changed it!