Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz says Formula 1 should look into re-introducing single-lap qualifying sessions and using “ghost cars” to boost home-viewing entertainment.
In recent weeks, congested tracks and impeding incidents have led to discussions over traffic problems during qualifying.
F1 has used its current qualifying format which contains two knockout sessions and a top 10 shootout since 2006, barring an alternative method used at two rounds in 2016.
Fernando Alonso, who was on the grid when F1 last used the single-lap format, suggested that it is time for it to make a comeback.
“It is a topic every weekend, especially in short circuits,” the two-time World Champion said.
“And 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 on track, [it would get] full TV coverage for that lap, for everyone’s sponsors and things like that.
“And that created a little bit of drama in case of weather changes in between [during] qualifying, you could see in pole position different cars, different names. So that was, I think, my preferred option.”
However, obstacles such as track evolution and changing weather could play a part in objections to the suggested method.
Nevertheless, Sainz has called on F1 to explore returning to the single-lap format and believes that the sport can utilise modern technology to improve the spectacle for fans at home.
“The single-lap qualifying may be something to experiment with, as Fernando said, also maybe in sprint weekends to try, if it would work,” he said.
“I personally am 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 in only one lap.
“That would be really good fun for us, I think for our sponsors and for everyone, but maybe for the TV it would be a bit boring for you.
“But 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 with 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.”