Qualification Matters in Formula 1

Sunday’s Formula 1 race was won Saturday, during qualification. For those that say Sunday’s result was unfair, they are flat out wrong. A lot of work goes into preparing and executing a race. Drivers have a practice day, then they have a qualification day. Qualification is not an academic formality. It exists for a reason. Qualification determines the starting grid. Max Verstappen was the fastest in qualification. George Russell was second with Lewis Hamilton bringing up third. The rain prevented a proper race from occurring. However, making Saturday’s qualification count for points is the right thing to do. It’s good for the fans. It’s good for the teams. It is good for Formula 1. It’s good for the fans because they waited for hours to see a result. It’s good for the teams because they get a reward for their hard work over the course of the race weekend. Most importantly, it’s good for Formula 1 because Max Verstappen regained lost ground on Lewis Hamilton in his quest for the championship.

Let’s not forget, racing is about winning and losing. Verstappen won because he put in the work during qualification. He and his team put himself in the best position to win. All 20 drivers had the same equal opportunity to qualify for the top spot on the grid as well. Verstappen came out on top because he put in the work. That work should be rewarded. Williams Racing has struggled for many years. George Russell, racing for Williams, outclassed 18 other drivers during qualification and was properly rewarded. Congrats to him for making a podium for the first time in his young career. As a bonus, George Russell showed his future worth to Mercedes.

Don’t get me wrong, racers want to race. This victory will feel a bit hollow for Max, but he will take the points in a hotly contested battle to win the World Drivers Championship. George Russell wanted to see if he could cut it after turn 1 at Spa in a legitimate race. Lewis Hamilton wanted to build on his lead over Verstappen. The remaining teams are still climbing that long ladder to be competitive with Mercedes and Red Bull. Racers want to race, however, in this case, on this day, rewarding the qualification efforts on Saturday was the right thing to do. It was the only thing to do.

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