As predicted here two weeks ago some drivers have been complaining about the amount of traffic during qualifying sessions in F1.
Charlie Whiting has told the teams the session could be split so that not all the drivers go out at the same time – if they can agree on a solution.
Do you think qualifying at Monaco should be split?
Although it’s not clear exactly how it would work, splitting qualifying would mean having 12 instead of 24 cars on track at once, making it easier for each driver to do a lap without getting stuck in traffic.
Whether you consider that a good thing or not probably determines where you stand on this debate.
Last year 26 GP2 cars participated in a qualifying session of similar length at Monaco. Why should F1, with a higher standard of drivers, make life easier for its competitors than a junior category?
Timing a qualifying run and doing as quick a lap as possible despite traffic is an important part of a drivers’ skill – and all the drivers have to cope with the same problem.
This debate strikes at the heart of the problem of “improving the show” in F1. The teams want to be able to do clear, unimpeded laps because they want to be able to get the very best out of their car.
But seeing drivers cope with difficulties like traffic makes F1 exciting – just as we saw at Sepang when the Ferraris and McLarens made mistakes in qualifying and started at the back of the grid.
Anyone who supports the idea of splitting qualifying has lost sight of the fact that F1 isn’t just about who can build the fastest car – it’s also about who can make the best use of it over a race weekend.
They should leave Monaco qualifying alone. At present the drivers have a choice between going out early when the track won’t be as grippy but will be less busy, or going out later when the track offers more grip but, inevitably, more traffic. Whoever calls that decision best and sets the fastest time deserves to be on pole position.
Do you think qualifying should be split at Monaco? Cast your vote and have your say below:
Read more: Traffic a greater challenge in next races