Should Monaco qualifying be split? (Poll)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Drivers don't want to be stuck in traffic during qualifying
Drivers don't want to be stuck in traffic during qualifying

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:

Should qualifying be split in Monaco?

  • Yes (22%)
  • No (74%)
  • No opinion (4%)

Total Voters: 1,270

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Read more: Traffic a greater challenge in next races

75 comments on “Should Monaco qualifying be split? (Poll)”

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  1. Absolutely not. The whole idea is a joke.

  2. Totally against the split! IF, and I capitalize IF!, they split it in the end, they should have one car of each team in each heat, so that they get still some taste of traffic! But definitly NO TO SPLIT QUALI! Drivers: live is tough! Deal with it!

  3. this is a popular thread so this may have already been said, and i havent really got time to read through it all right now to check it hasn’t so sorry if i’m repeating someone elses point. BUT……

    If you split the quali 1 in half, odd-even slow-fast or whatever, what happenes if the first set to go out go out on a dry track, and the second set have to do it in the rain? Its a stupid idea and i think its just bruno senna trying to seem “safety minded” like his uncle… only diference was ayrton senna was fast too.

  4. Jonesracing82
    9th May 2010, 1:41

    no way! if they cant find a clear lap in 20mins then thats thier problem, q1 is rather basic with the new cars making up the bottom 6 and 1 established team car dropping out! so it doesnt need to be changed.
    further goes to show how team want to win more than providing entertainment

  5. No way what so ever??
    It won’t be F1 if that happens. I do want to see the top drivers finding their way out of the traffic for the pole position. & if they sent 12 cars along then the first batch will have trouble doing a good lap as then track will be green.

  6. The Dutch Bear
    9th May 2010, 8:36

    NO! NO! NO!

    Message to the drivers:
    Traffic is a part of racing!

  7. Pretty bad argument saying other junior series must drive in the same situation in Monaco… The name tells everything… its a serie… so there is no such thing as car speed difference of 10 seconds per lap in a series (GP2, etc.)!!!

    1. There may be less variation in the performance of the cars but I think we can all agree F1 drivers are on the whole much more experienced and better equipped to cope.


  9. I voted yes – but split so that just the 6 new cars are seperate from everyone else. next week we are going to get a lot of arguments, and yes it has always been part of qualifying to predict traffic, but the pace of the new teams is still embarrassing and i’d be willing to put money on a lotus/virgin/HRT ruining at least one front-running driver’s weekend, which is unacceptable.

  10. I voted no because I think that it would be making it too easy for the frontrunning drivers.

    However if the new teams are really worried about getting in the way during Q3 then they have a simple solution, go out at the very beginning of the session and set a time then stay in their garage for the rest of the session.

  11. Not at Monaco but give it a shot. In Monaco it makes sense to split the first session so everybody will say it was a good decision. But we need an objective research so lets try it at Turkish GP

    1. Wouldn’t that be a little late since the suggestion is specifically for Monaco???

  12. I would at least extend Q1 with 10 minutes. Things should stay fair and not unpredictable.

  13. Looks like some of the F1 team bosses are reading this blog as well.

    Horner quoted one of the team members saying this:
    “I think the most worrying aspect is Q1, it is just a matter of trying to get a lap that is sufficiently clear to post a time through Q1. Somebody unfortunately mentioned statistically that every 200 metres there will be a car if everyone runs and there is obviously a big difference in pace between the cars.”

    This sounds remarkebly like one of the arguments i read here about the dangers of traffic in Keiths article about more traffic a couple of weeks ago!


  14. Did there used to be a time when the FIA would create rules for Formula One and leave them be for a couple of years? Now, they’re constantly changing everything. It would be nice to let the teams and drivers adapt to the race conditions as the world’s best drivers should be able to!

  15. I was thinking about this again yesterday and if they HAD to split it, they could have 2 Q1 heats with the slowest 4 in each heat dropping out, then putting the survivors into Q2 & Q3 as normal. Put one car from each team into each heat.

    This would remove any issues about the weather, the track being more rubbered in for the 2nd group, etc.

  16. Hi, all is going sound here and ofcourse every one is sharing information, that’s really fine, keep up

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