Carlos Sainz has suggested that Formula 1 should look into splitting its first qualifying segment into two groups around Monaco.
The first 18 minutes of F1’s traditional qualifying format sees all 20 cars take to the track, with the slowest five eliminated after the chequered flag.
However, it has consistently led to a build-up of track and impeding issues, particularly around Monaco’s short and narrow layout.
Formula 2 and Formula 3 use an alternate qualifying format around the Monte Carlo streets, with the session split into two groups to ensure the track is less crowded.
Sainz says that F1 should adopt a similar approach.
“Q1 is too much,” he said. “And I think with these wide cars and everything it’s too dangerous, and we should find a way to split into 10 cars the qualifying.
“One team each, and I’m pretty sure that that would facilitate all the mess that we saw in Q1.”
Sainz ended the qualifying session in fifth place, but has been promoted to fourth following a penalty for team-mate Charles Leclerc, who impeded Lando Norris while the McLaren driver was on a fast lap.
It hasn’t been a smooth weekend for the Spaniard, as his FP2 session on Friday ended with a crash into the barrier.
Although Monaco’s layout offers few opportunities to overtake, Sainz is hopeful that he can secure his first podium of the 2023 campaign on Sunday.
“I think we have a strong chance of getting ourselves back on the podium if we execute a good race,” he said.
“But at the same time we need think that it’s going to be a long one, that we haven’t done a good job on Saturday, and that we’ll probably pay the price tomorrow because we’re too far behind.
“So, not happy about today, we should’ve been starting further up. With a clean lap or with a, let’s say, less distracting lap or with a cleaner-air lap.”