Seidl: Sprint qualifying only to be used at 'specific tracks'

Only time will tell if Formula 1 adds its innovative Sprint Qualifying format to more events in 2022,... The post Seidl: Sprint qualifying only to be used at 'specific tracks' appeared first on F1i.com.

Seidl: Sprint qualifying only to be used at 'specific tracks'

Only time will tell if Formula 1 adds its innovative Sprint Qualifying format to more events in 2022, but should that be the case, McLaren boss Andreas Seidl says the sport should be very selective in its choice of venues.

Overall, last weekend's inaugural Sprint Qualifying at Silverstone left a fairly good impression, both in terms of how the weekend unfolded and with regard to the level of entertainment that was provided to the fans.

However, the jury will remain out over the format's return in 2022 until a comprehensive review is undertaken after this year's three trials.

F1 chief Ross Brawn suggested that a positive assessment could lead to five or six Sprint Qualifying events in 2022. But Seidl insists the format isn't suited for every venue on the calendar.

"It is good that we have these trials now this year for three weekends," Seidl said. "I think it is good also to take our time together with the fans and our partners and all teams, with Formula 1, with the FIA, to analyse exactly how this weekend went and then make conclusions based on that.

"I think that is just an initial view, I think it is a good idea to only use it for specific event and tracks for a different format.

"I don’t see, for example, it being the standard for all weekends."

At Silverstone, teams were confronted with a few unprecedented challenges, such as rolling their cars into parc fermé at the end of Friday's first practice session, therefore freezing their setting for the remainder of the race weekend.

In terms of strategy, drivers were also allowed a free choice of tyres for Sunday's event, a freedom that will become the norm in 2022.

But overall, Seidl reckons the weekend unfolded pretty much as expected, with Sunday's results more or less mirroring Saturday's performance, including Ferrari's edge over McLaren.

  • Read also: F1 confirms Monza as venue for second Sprint Qualifying trial

"I would say the weekend played out in terms of strategy and tyres as we had anticipated," said the McLaren team principal.

"The sprint race in the end gave a good picture of where everyone has been in terms of race pace.

"It was obvious to see that Charles [Leclerc] was already very strong and we couldn’t beat him [on Saturday] and the same happened again [on Sunday].

"I would say no big surprises and no big learnings from the sprint race that changed anything for the race today."

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Verstappen the reason why Alonso watched F1 during hiatus

Fernando Alonso has revealed that he only watched F1 on TV last year on the off chance that... The post Verstappen the reason why Alonso watched F1 during hiatus appeared first on F1i.com.

Verstappen the reason why Alonso watched F1 during hiatus

Fernando Alonso has revealed that he only watched F1 on TV last year on the off chance that the "charismatic" Max Verstappen would spice things up in a race.

Alonso exited F1 at the end of 2018 after a final season with McLaren. In the following 24 months, the Spaniard indulged in a limited program that included competing in the Indy 500, a win at Le Mans in 2019 with Toyota and a participation in the 2020 Dakar with the Japanese manufacturer.

Alonso admitted that he took little interest in F1 during his time off, only tuning in with the hope of watching the intrepid Verstappen challenge Lewis Hamilton and bring a race alive.

"Last year, when I wasn’t racing, when I put the TV on, I put it on a little bit to see what Max was doing in that race because he was the only one who was going to do something," Alonso told Soymotor.com.

"You knew Bottas wasn’t going to upset Hamilton and you knew Hamilton would win if nothing weird happened.

"But…‘oh, Verstappen’. Whether he starts on the front row, whether the car is going well…the charisma factor or whatever I think is important as well."

Unfortunately, Alpine's performance level hasn't yet allowed Alonso to go wheel-to-wheel with the Red Bull driver.

Alonso admitted that Verstappen's orange army of supporters that follows him on European tracks reminds him of the days when the grandstands were painted blue with Alonso fans.

  • Read also: Alonso vows to play by the same rules but will remain 'clean'

"I look at it with admiration and I enjoy the moment, to see all those people excited, in this case for Verstappen, but with the good fortune of also having experienced it firsthand, and there was that blue tide for so many years for us – for Renault and me," said the F1 veteran.

"I don’t look at it with envy, I look at it with admiration for them and also knowing we were lucky enough to have a whole circuit [supporting us]."

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