July 15, 2024
F1 Drivers React to ATA Format Trial: Concerns Over Reduced Practice Running

The recent ATA format trial in F1, implemented for the round at the Hungaroring, stirred various reactions from drivers. The format change aimed to boost qualifying excitement by restricting tyre allocation and spicing up the weekend. However, drivers like Carlos Sainz expressed concerns over the reduced practice running, feeling it hindered their ability to put on a show for fans. While some appreciated the interesting qualifying session resulting from the tyre allocations, others like Fernando Alonso saw it as a “disaster,” depriving spectators of on-track action during practice.

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The ATA format trial, aiming to enhance qualifying, restricted each car to just 11 sets of slick Pirelli rubber over the weekend. This led to hindered practice running, with FP1 being less affected due to wet weather allowing intermediate and wet tyres usage. Drivers like Carlos Sainz found this reduction in practice time unappealing, questioning the purpose of multiple practice sessions if tyres were scarce. Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen echoed Sainz’s concerns about less running and entertainment for Friday crowds.

While the ATA trial provided an interesting qualifying session, some drivers, including Lewis Hamilton, expressed reservations about its impact on practice. Hamilton believed the previous tyre allocation rule already limited running, and further reductions didn’t add to entertainment. Max Verstappen also preferred the traditional format and believed close competition could still deliver excitement in all qualifying sessions.

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Fernando Alonso’s Strong Opposition: Fernando Alonso strongly opposed the reduced tyre sets, labeling it a “disaster” for the spectators who missed out on track action during practice. Alonso believed the format change added nothing to the show and felt sad for the fans who paid for Friday sessions without witnessing enough laps due to the tyre-saving approach.

The ATA format trial in F1 garnered mixed reactions from drivers, with concerns raised over reduced practice running impacting the entertainment value for fans. While some found the qualifying session interesting, drivers like Fernando Alonso saw it as a disappointment for the spectators. As the championship progresses, the ATA format’s effectiveness and its impact on overall fan experience will likely continue to be evaluated by F1 officials.

Featured Image Credit: Motorsport Images

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