Williams chief executive Jost Capito says F1 is in need of a format change and the German reckons that the introduction of a Sprint Qualifying event on Saturday is “a very good move”.
Formula 1 will roll out its innovative concept at next week’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone where drivers will qualify on Friday afternoon for a short 100-kilometre burst of racing that will take place on Saturday and that will determine grid positions for Sunday’s main event.
Monza and a third yet-to-be-determined venue will host two other Sprint Qualifying events, after which F1 will take stock of the experience and perhaps add the format to a widespread number of race weekends in 2022.
Capito saluted the sport’s initiative and its acceptance to change.
“Everybody who knows me knows that I am always willing for changes,” Capito said in Austria last weekend.
“Doing something new and trying something new. I think that it is a very good move for Formula 1.
“It adds something on Friday that is exciting, instead of just having free practice. It’s somehow a qualifying as well for the qualifying race.”
Capito reckons the fans will have the last word when it comes to deciding the future of the Sprint Qualifying format.
“On Saturday there is something different for the fans,” he added. “The fans have seen the same format for many years and I believe it is time for a change or an update.
“I think it’s really good to try it for three races and then analyse it and see if the fans like it or not and if the fans like it then I think we should go on with this.”
Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has gone on record saying that he fears that Saturday’s mad dash will produce little else than a boring procession.
And Alpine’s Fernando Alonso echoed the Mercedes driver’s comments, insisting the usual suspects will find themselves at the front although he admitted that the proceedings could spring a few surprises.
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“I always like to try new things and it is a format that can bring surprises,” Alonso said. “I’m sure there will be tweaks for the other two events, because even Formula 1 is saying this is a test.
“We will have Q1, Q2 and Q3 on Friday and it will be very difficult to change the order of qualifying after that.
“The fastest will start first on Saturday, it will be more or less like that in the race and then you get to Sunday like that as well.
“So let’s see how it goes at Silverstone, but I don’t think we will see much that is new. The fastest cars will be ahead.”
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