Jul.8 (GMM/Inautonews.com) ‘Sprint race qualifying’ is not the answer for formula one.
That is the view of Beat Zehnder, Sauber’s highly experienced team manager, following reports the Strategy Group wants to spice up the sport with a radical shakeup of the race weekend format.
One apparent suggestion is that traditional qualifying is scrapped and replaced with a Saturday ‘sprint race’, with the finishing order to determine the grid for the main grand prix on Sunday.
Zehnder told Speed Week: “The discussion about a Saturday race is not new.
“But in the end, what would change if we had a sprint race as the basis for the grid? Because it would be the same as now, with Mercedes, Ferrari, Williams at the front.
“To radically change something, you would have to implement the proposal of Flavio Briatore and reverse the grid,” Zehnder added.
“But what does that have to do with performance and sport? Nothing at all. It would be artificial and against the basic idea of formula one,” he said.
Sauber is not a member of the decision-making Strategy Group, but boss Monisha Kaltenborn says the Swiss team is supportive of changes to improve F1.
“Since we were not part of the discussion it’s difficult for me to go into specifics, but from reading what the Strategy Group decided it looks like it’s going in the right direction,” she said.
“To us, it is important that the competition is interesting again — that’s what the fans, the partners want and it seems to be going in the right direction.”