Fernando Alonso has apologised to fans on behalf of Formula 1.
After the debut of the ‘alternative tyre allocation’ in Hungary, Formula 1 is conducting its second ‘ATA’ trial this weekend at Monza.
It gives drivers 11 new tyre sets for the entire weekend instead of the usual 13, and prescribes certain compounds to be used in the three segments of qualifying – with the sole goal of saving tyres in the name of sustainability.
“The target is to reduce the tyres without damaging the show,” said Pirelli boss Mario Isola.
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz surprised by emerging as the fastest driver on Friday – but Haas boss Gunther Steiner says the real pecking order is actually unclear.
“You have no sense of who is fast and who is slow,” he said. “Some use two sets of soft in practice, others one set of hards.”
Uncertainty aside, F1’s most experienced driver – Alonso – insists that the ATA is actually hurting the show.
“With so few tyres for practice, it makes us save tyres the whole weekend,” he told Spanish reporters after Friday’s proceedings.
“So we have to apologise to the fans. We just couldn’t do many laps because we only had one set for the session.
“We apologise to all of the fans who have come here. We also did that in Hungary because of this format,” Alonso added.
Pirelli’s Isola admits that the jury is still out as to whether the ‘ATA’ is a success or not.
“I heard some drivers complaining but I believe it can work with some fine-tuning,” said the Italian.
“It’s the sport that wants to go in this direction. Obviously all the teams are focusing on keeping as many softs as possible for qualifying, but I’m still positive about it and I’m sure we can find a good solution.”