This year's qualifying system has been criticised for being overly long and Jaguar's Mark Webber agrees with that opinion. Split into two sessions that take nearly an hour each, qualifying now lasts longer than the race. How to change the format...
This year's qualifying system has been criticised for being overly long and Jaguar's Mark Webber agrees with that opinion. Split into two sessions that take nearly an hour each, qualifying now lasts longer than the race. How to change the format has often been discussed but as yet there has been no solution. Some are hoping for a new system to be in place some time this season but first an alternative has to be agreed on.
"We tried everyone together but then nobody went out until the last ten minutes and you could miss watching all the good laps and just get one good lap," said Webber in an online Q&A with fans on the Jaguar website. "A lot of categories now have the one lap shoot out which I think is a good thing because people get to see the drivers."
"The real fans like to see the driver going through a lap on their own and how much pressure they're under to do that lap. It can be a bit long winded but I'm sure we'll try to make it a bit more straightforward in the future."
"There's no way qualifying should go on as long as the race, so maybe a quick practice session to sort the field out and have a top ten one lap qualifying. I think it's good as we saw in Imola with Jenson putting in a good time and Michael making a mistake. I think people like to see that."
Webber's suggestion is in line with the way the German Touring Car championship (DTM) now runs its qualifying. All the drivers go out for half an hour to set the grid positions from 11 upwards, then the ten fastest go out for individually timed laps to set the grid from pole to tenth. It's a system that works well; the fans get to see some action and the top ten shoot out is always tension filled.
The competition is very close in DTM -- this weekend at Adria, 20 cars in qualifying were separated by less than a second. In F1 qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix, only the top 3 were within a second. Mercedes' Norbert Haug has previously said that F1 should consider adopting the DTM format. While a new qualifying system has yet to be decided, there is at least agreement that it does need changed.