Alonso says new qualifying "a headache" for F1 fans
Fernando Alonso says Formula 1's new qualifying format will just give fans "a headache" as it over-complicates matters.
F1 chiefs approved a new elimination qualifying system last week, but Bernie Ecclestone revealed over the weekend that it would not be introduced until at least the Spanish Grand Prix because the new timing software would not be ready in time for the start of the season.
McLaren driver Alonso, however, reckons there was no need to change qualifying, and he thinks the new system will only confuse spectators.
The Spaniard labelled the changes as "crazy".
"[Viewing numbers] are down in all countries and so they are thinking about new things all the time to regain popularity," Alonso told Spanish radio station COPE in a interview.
"But some of the things they are thinking are crazy, like the new qualifying system, which is more complex than the one we had. We are giving the fans another headache.
"It's a bit hard for people to follow and people want to turn on the TV and watch loud cars with big tyres and see overtaking all the time, and we don't have that right now."
The two-time world champion added that the current cars continue to be too easy on the drivers as well as too slow on the track.
"They are not demanding," Alonso added.
"I remember the tests with the old cars: you couldn't sleep at night because you were so tired, because the neck hurt, because you felt dizzy when you laid down.
"Now you only need to look at the times: 1:26 at Barcelona, when we used to do 1:16. When we did laps waving at the people we nearly did 1:24s or 1:25s, and now are lapping in 1:26s, so it's not very demanding."
Mercedes in a league apart
Alonso, who struggled in his first year back at McLaren last season, believes Mercedes remains the team to beat, and claims the title is already for the German squad's to lose.
"Mercedes is in a league apart, it is very strong. They would have to do something catastrophic to lose. I don't think anyone can find that performance.
"Right now Vettel and Ferrari (are third) but I wouldn't rule out Williams or Red Bull or Force India, which appears to be stronger than usual.
"And let's hope sooner or later we are close, especially on some circuit that are more favourable for us."
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