The new qualifying format didn’t go down well with fans and pundits alike but who was behind the change? Why did they want to change it?
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said this week that perhaps they shouldn’t jettison the concept completely and perhaps it would be good to re-examine it, tweak it and make it a better functioning system. That had me believing that he may have been one of the people that was supportive of the change although I can’t imagine why as it was mostly designed to upset a Mercedes domination.
Today AUTOSPORT reports that, in fact, Force India are very much in favor of the new qualifying format with team boss Bob Fernley saying:
“Part of the reason the qualifying [change] was done was the race,” he said.
“How can you make that decision if you have not even done the race?
“We didn’t vote for it [to be changed back].
“I asked for it to be noted that we were strictly against it on principle and time should be given for it.
“I hope that more people will take our position with a bit of time to think about it.
“The tyres, the qualifying, everything had an impact on this race. Maybe we should wait a little bit more.
“It was too knee-jerk a reaction and I think some very interesting things came out of it.”
Here’s the rub. The change was intended to have an impact on Sunday and I’ve read fans commenting on that very notion. Why throw it out because everything that happens over a GP weekend is really just a precursor to the ultimate show on Sunday. The comments have been nearly dismissive of Friday and Saturday activity as a standalone entertainment package and event suggesting that they are mere distractions to the really important thing which is the race.
Perhaps you feel that way? I can say that I don’t and while I understand full well that Friday and Saturday are contributing elements to Sunday’s race, they are part of the entire package of entertainment and should be intriguing elements on their own and additive when combined with Sunday’s race. Why? Because you’re charging me money to watch them!
If the qualifying change was merely meant to upset the apple cart on Sunday, then don’t charge fans to sit in stands and watch cars not run. If they can tweak the system and make it more effective, then perhaps we could look at that and I’m open to that although I’m not quite sure the system needs to be changed to improve the qualifying experience.
Once again, the series is looking for cheap gimmicks to disturb the real issue of imbalance in performance and a lack of equilibrium amongst the teams creating processional and predictable racing. Why not address the aero issues, hybrid engine performance issues and other key elements that prevent the kind of racing fans want to see instead of trying to implement regulations that might catch race strategists and engineers off guard forcing errors to mix up the racing?
Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT