Drivers do not want changes to qualifying format
Formula 1 drivers have expressed their desire for the series to keep the qualifying format as it is, with reports that it could be changed in the future.
In recent weeks F1 bosses have suggested that they could trial a new qualifying format in 2020, with Ross Brawn suggesting the idea of trialling a reverse grid scenario or having a short race on a Saturday to decide the grid for Sunday.
But the drivers have been unanimous in stating that they don’t believe this will fix the series’ issues and they would like to see qualifying stay as it is.
“It [changing qualifying] sounds just like a short fix to a bigger problem, which is just that we need to try and bring all the teams closer competition-wise.” said Daniil Kvyat in Thursday’s press conference.
“There’s still a big gap between the top three teams and the rest of the field and if we could have five or six teams competing for podium and a win I think it would be just a lot more exciting racing as well.”
Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas was also critical of the proposed changes and feels it would lose part of the spectacle of a race weekend.
“Not a big fan, myself, personally, about the reverse grid idea.” commented Bottas.
“I think it would be a real shame to lose proper qualifying.
“I think all the drivers really enjoy pushing the car to the limit for that one lap in qualifying.”
Whilst Kimi Raikkonen doesn’t want to see the reverse grid idea implemented for 2020, he has suggested that it would be good to return to the old format of having an hour to set your best time, but that he didn’t think it would make much difference regardless of the changes made.
“If I would change, I would go back to where it was when I started: one hour of time and I think there were three sets of tyres and 12 laps, do it when you want” added Raikkonen.
“Over the years, there have been many different ways of doing it [but] honestly I don’t know if it really changed the entries an awful lot”