Monza hosted the second trial weekend for the new Sprint Qualifying format introduced by Formula One to “make the sport more interesting and appealing”.
Despite the good intentions, what Sprint races have achieved is to divide the audience and raise quite critical opinions throughout the paddock and grandstands.
Even drivers do not seem particularly caught in with the change. Two-times World Champion Fernando Alonso, who has been a part of the paddock since 2001 and has lived through various iterations of qualifying formats across the years, suggested there is a constant – and needless – pursuit of change.
"First of all, I think F1 is always pursuing an improvement that is not needed in a way,"
Then, he added: “ I don't see any other sport so worried about making improvements to the show. I see football, which normally is the king of sports and there are so many games that are so boring.
"The following week, there is not any drama, there is not any change and there is no suggestion how to change the game, to make the goal bigger, to make you play without goalkeepers to improve the show, there are no dramas.
"Formula 1 should be happy and proud as a show because it is a very big thing," concluded the Spaniard.
Of the same opinion is the Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, who roasted F1's sprint race as "boring" events that add nothing to the sport for the fans or drivers.
The Mexican had no mercy in his assessment of the sprint, which was on trial at Monza for the second of three races this year in F1's bid to shake up the format and improve the show.
"There's nothing happening. I don't see the benefit of having the sprint race”.
Perez continued: "I can imagine it's also boring for fans, boring for drivers. At the moment, how it is, the current format, I don't feel it brings anything. We'll see if the fans are happy with it."
Asked as to how it could be improved, Perez added: "The problem we have is that with the current Formula 1 cars, to actually overtake you need a very big delta across the cars, and to achieve that you have to have some kind of degradation”.
Indeed, with the current state of the art, during sprint weekends, qualifying is moved to Friday evening to facilitate the 100km 'race' which is meant to mix the grid around for Sunday’s race.
Yet, as Fernando Alonso pointed out – and Perez confirmed – car performance generally means the positions locked in on a Friday will remain fairly stable throughout the entire weekend.
"Because we want to improve, my feeling is Friday is what is dictating the rest of the weekend because the qualifying is made by the car performance, not by the driver input," he added.
"When you have only one set of tyres or one attempt, okay the car is the most important thing but the driver has to deliver on that minute and a half.
"When you have one hour and six sets of tyres, you make one or two mistakes but then you put another set of tyres, you make another mistake - okay, you put on another set of tyres and at the end, you finish in the position you deserve.
"That would be my opinion with experience. To really add some difficulty on Friday, maybe have one attempt, not six," concluded Alonso.