Are ghost cars or one-shot qualifying ways to solve F1's traffic trouble?
Traffic impacting qualifying laps has become a recurring issue in F1 in recent years, with the problem being particularly notable on shorter tracks. Will McLaren’s HUGE upgrades turn their F1 season around?Video of Will McLaren's HUGE upgrades turn their F1 season around?It is expected to be a talking point at this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix, with a lap around the Red Bull Ring taking just over 60 seconds to complete. Speaking during Thursday’s FIA press conference in Austria, Alonso said he would like to return to single-lap qualifying, which was used in F1 between 2003 and 2005. “It is a topic every weekend, especially at short circuits,” Alonso said. “There are a few options to improve this.“One is single-lap qualifying, like in the past. That would be ideal in my opinion, because only one car is on track.“Full TV coverage for that lap for everyone’s sponsors and things like that. That created a little bit of drama in case of weather change in between qualifying – you could see different cars on pole position, different names. “So that was, I think, my preferred option.”Fellow Spaniard Sainz said he would be in favour of reviving one-shot qualifying.
“Single-lap qualifying is maybe something to experiment with, as Fernando said, also maybe in sprint weekends as to try if it would work,” the Ferrari driver said. “I personally was a big fan of it, because I do like that feeling of suddenly having the whole track for you and having the pressure to perform only in one lap. I think that would be really good fun for us. I think for our sponsors and for everyone.Related Norris robbed for second time in two years during Spanish holiday Under-fire de Vries determined to ‘prove Marko wrong’ amid F1 future speculation“Maybe for the TV it would be a bit boring for you, I don’t know, it depends on the technology. You also have to animate that single lap, if you can put a ghost car of the fastest lap.“I think we the technology that we have nowadays, something like that could be achievable with the mini sectors, with the ghost cars, with that kind of stuff that I think we should look into.”However, reigning world champion Max Verstappen said he is “not sure it’s the best idea” to return to one-shot qualifying. “There is always traffic, but this has been Formula 1 as well – you just have to try and manage it,” he said. “I know some tracks of course are a bit better than others. It’s a tricky one.”Sainz also suggested that F1 should take advantage of modern-day graphics technology to help improve the show. “I think the shorter-term solution would be to at least do Q1 in a split qualifying group – ten cars, one from each team,” he added.“I think by Q2 the traffic already improves quite a bit. Q3 is not a problem, so it would be only short tracks in Q1, maybe divide the session by half and do eight minutes with one group, eight minutes with another group.”
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