Andrew Shovlin admitted that the new Sprint Qualifying format certainly brought some challenges to the teams, but he also liked it, stating that it was exciting.
Mercedes said after the Silverstone GP that the new format which debuted in Britain can bring a lot of excitement, but it is also very risky considering the new parc ferme rule because the teams only had one session to set up the car for the whole weekend.
“It’s really exciting having the one-hour session and then straight into parc ferme,” said Shovlin.
“It makes it, from an engineering point of view, quite high stakes because if you put the car in the wrong place at the start, you’ve got a very difficult job to unpick it going into qualifying.
“If you don’t get it right, you’re then going to suffer from that for the next 400 kilometers of racing with the two races added together. So that element’s quite fun.”
Speaking of the short race held on Saturday, Shovlin said that it was nice since the drivers could push a lot more than in the race on Sunday, but considering the conditions found at Silverstone, it was hard to create an opportunity after the first few laps.
“You can afford to push because you know where the end of the stint is. The reality was though that once we got a couple of laps into it, it was very difficult to create an opportunity, as [there is] a lot of energy here and it’s incredibly hot conditions for Silverstone and you’re overheating.
“So you can push […] It’s just there wasn’t anything to gain from driving flat out because it was so hard to create the opportunity.”
To conclude, Shovlin said that the new format did not help Lewis Hamilton after he managed to qualify in P1. However, he also thinks that it is up to the fans to decide whether the format was good or not.
“The format of the weekend [in terms of] difficulties, obviously the Sprint Qualifying didn’t work out for Lewis having put the car on pole position on Friday,” Shovlin said.
“But the fans are the ones that need to judge on that, and the teams will work around whatever’s good for the sport.”