David sent a message to Bernie Ecclestone – President and CEO, Formula One Management – Email Address that said:
Hello Mr Ecclestone, forgive my email if my idea is useless but, as I sit watching F1 qualifying in Spain, my mind wandered to the dilemma of making F1 more exciting, helping to reduce costs for the teams etc. I know theres been lots of criticism but anyone can do that and so I thought of a possible solution, checked it with my (sceptical so ) and decided to drop you a quick note...
I wonder whether the grid positions could be determined, not by a dedicated qualifying event, but by the fastest lap recorded in the previous race - except for the first race of the season.
This would lead to teams waiting to set their fastest lap until near the end of the race to benefit from light fuel loads, track rubber and space on track. But they would also need fresh super-soft tyres and so it's a disruptive idea because it creates a dilemma for the teams between the race result and the desire to achieve a fastest lap for the next race's grid position.
For the top teams like Mercedes it may not always be so tough as they often have a comfortable margin towards the end of most races. But then they nearly always bag the top grid positions in the current qualifying system. For everyone else there's much to play for. At a point in the race when many teams realise there's little left for them to achieve, this idea introduces some excitement and uncertainty that will keep the TV viewers watching and give the teams something to race for.
Pits stops, for a change of tyre near the end of a race, create the potential for unforeseen outcomes.
And finally, the smaller teams will spend less money because they wont have a dedicated qualifying event and there will be less wear on engines, gearboxes etc.
I accept that this would mean the end of qualifying as a stand alone event and I dont know how financially lucrative this is to F1 and the teams. But the races would be more uncertain, more exciting, people would want to watch to the very end and the cost to the teams would be reduced - perhaps making space to add an extra race to recover any revenue lost because of dropping qualifying?
Anyway, we love F1 so thank you to you and all the others that you work with to bring us the joy of the sport.
I wish you well and thank you for reading my email.
Best wishes, David