Following the debut of the Sprint Qualifying format at last week's British Grand Prix, FIA Race Director Michael Masi has praised the teams for their positive attitude towards the new format and felt that they had all approached the weekend with an open mind and a willingness to work with the spirit of the rulebook.
With the format completely changed for Silverstone, with the starting grid determined for Sunday's Grand Prix through a 17 lap 'Sprint Qualifying' race on Saturday, there was the possibility of an oversight in the rulebook that a team could have exploited. For instance, teams were forced to put their cars into parc ferme conditions on Friday evening ahead of qualifying, before being given back their cars for Saturday morning practice.
"I think the big part was that all of the teams came with the right intentions of trying to make this work," Masi told select members of the press, including RacingNews365.
"They knew it was important for everyone, to actually give it a good crack. And that was the overriding factor in the lead up to, and was clearly shown throughout the weekend that everyone wanted to put the best foot forward. And not saying that it was perfect, but can we learn from it in future? We learn from everything."
Masi also praised the efforts of officials at the track, who had to keep a close eye on parc ferme conditions from Friday evening onwards as teams weren't permitted to make changes to their cars.
"It was obviously labour intensive," he said.
"And our team here at the FIA did an amazing job because there was effectively three lots of parc ferme that needed to be considered compared to the normal one. So yes, it was extensive. But the guys and girls in the FIA team did an awesome job getting through it."
With the first Sprint Qualifying weekend now in the bag after months of build-up to the format's introduction, Masi felt the change had been a positive one and that the sport should be pleased with the success of the format's debut.
"From a sprint qualifying perspective, I think everyone should be proud of what we achieved," he said.
"Looking back at the original intention of what it was, is that it gave three competitive elements over the three days of the event, which, for the viewers, the spectating public and the fans, I think has its benefits. There was always an open mind from the FIA, F1, and the teams that we would take the first event and see what improvements can be made.
"From an FIA perspective and F1 as a family, I'm extremely proud with the way that we got here. And I know that a number of people said the regulations were published quite late. However, it was the teams, all of us working together to try and find all of those little bits and pieces that kept changing along the way, and just produce one final set of regulations. So I think the first event has been a success.
"It's been amazing to have a huge crowd at the British Grand Prix. For Monza [the next Sprint Qualifying weekend], we'll sit down openly with everyone, the various stakeholders and take in feedback and make any amendments that we might need to make for Monza, which will be the next one."
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