MARCH 5, 2016
Prost thinks qualifying may still falter
Alain Prost has warned that the qualifying saga of recent days could drag on even longer.
While the World Motor Sport Council rubber-stamped the controversial new 'musical chairs' format on Friday, a statement declared only that it "should" be introduced for Melbourne in two weeks.
"I do not think that it will come," Prost, the F1 legend and Renault ambassador, told Speed Week in Geneva.
"And I also hope that it will not come."
Indeed, the quadruple world champion is not the only one who wonders why F1 is tinkering at the edges of the rules, especially when the existing qualifying format in particular was widely regarded as being a positive aspect of the sport.
Prost will therefore not follow the lead of Bernie Ecclestone, who recently said the sport is so bad he would not buy a ticket as a spectator.
"I don't want to criticise something that I don't have a complete picture of," he said.
"It seems that everybody wants to change something in F1, but if you change in only one area, it does little for the whole package," he said.
And Prost said comprehensive change for F1 is proving difficult, as the teams cannot agree the way forward.
"In this regard I agree with Bernie," he said. "Sometimes it needs somebody to say 'We're doing it this way!' Right now we have meeting after meeting and nothing coming of it.
"Qualifying is a good example: they make a decision and find out after the fact that it cannot be done immediately."
Prost is hoping the F1 show is exciting in 2016, amid claims Ferrari may actually have caught Mercedes and is ready to put up a fight for the title.
"Formula one as a product is not so bad," said the famous Frenchman, "even if people complain constantly about Mercedes dominating. But hasn't this always been the case in F1?"
Prost said even the media is playing a role in F1's current predicament.
"The journalists always pick out one thing and criticise it, as everyone has their own opinion. But this is very bad, because from the outside if then appears as if everything is wrong.
"It is far from that," he insisted. "The situation in formula one is more positive than it seems, even if we do need to analyse and adapt some things."