Jean Todt says having FP2 on a race weekend with sprint qualifying makes no sense and puzzles him.
The new format, comprising traditional qualifying on a Friday and a sprint qualifying instead of a third practice session on a Saturday, was tried for the second time at the Italian Grand Prix.
The reception has not been particularly positive, with wheel-to-wheel races hard to find and overtaking little and far.
Another thing fans complained about was the Saturday morning practice session between the two qualifying rounds, with little entertainment and arguably worsening events that followed as it allowed the teams to better inform.
Todt, the president of the FIA, agrees with this point of view, and does not understand why it is still continuing this weekend.
“For the moment, this [sprint] format leaves me a little puzzled about what happens between 12 noon and 1 pm on Saturday morning, ”he told Italian media.
“This free hour of training is not understandable to the public or the media. It can only be interesting for the teams to collect information, for example on tire wear.
“From a show point of view, it doesn’t make sense. “
People also complained that pole position was awarded to the sprint winner rather than the driver who is the fastest on a single lap in traditional qualifying.
Todt doesn’t care too much, as long as there’s no confusion around the main event, the Sunday race.
“It’s an evolution of the competition,” he added.
“The grid is made from the result of the sprint qualifying. An additional event was introduced on Saturday, which gives more meaning to Friday’s qualifying.
“What’s important is that the main event is the Sunday race. There should be no confusion about this.
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Daniel Ricciardo was one of the drivers to make the most of the sprint qualifying, earning himself a front row start to the main race which he ultimately won.
The Australian, like Todt, agrees that it might be better to remove FP2 when the format is used.
“I’m not sure FP2 is doing much,” he said.
“I think we’re actually probably learning too much and the races are a bit predictable. I know the time spent on TV, but I think for the health of the race FP2 maybe hurts a little bit because we’re sort of gaining too much knowledge.
“So maybe that’s something that will change.”