Hamilton, Grosjean doubt new F1 qualifying format will change much

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Lewis Hamilton and Romain Grosjean both doubt that the new format for Formula 1 qualifying will change a great deal.

Earlier this week, the F1 Commission unanimously voted in favor of a new format for qualifying that will see one driver be eliminated every 90 seconds within the existing three-stage structure of the session.

The initial reaction has been mixed, with some criticizing it for its complicated nature while others praise it for encouraging drivers to be on-track, resulting in more for fans to see.

When asked about the changes, set to come into force for the 2016 season, Hamilton said he doubts it will make much difference.

“I don’t really feel like it’s going to change much to be honest. I hope it’s a surprise for us all, I hope it does,” Hamilton said.

“Generally the format should be the same, just put some more focus on getting the laps in, keeping people out, making sure everyone’s out all the time. It would be good for spectators maybe.”

Grosjean echoed Hamilton’s thoughts, believing that the only impact it will have is on a drying track after rain.

“For the top teams it won’t change anything, they just need to go out early and do a good time. For the other ones its going to be a bit tricky,” Grosjean said.

“I think it’s quite a good idea to get cars early in qualifying on track, after that I don’t think it’s going to change a lot unless it’s a drying qualifying. Then it will be a bit more tricky.

“I’m not a huge fan of complicated rules because I think for the people back home it’s quite hard to understand exactly what’s going on. Then I want the car to be out on track, I want us to have more chances to do qualifying laps.

“It’s probably going to be a bit tricky to manage the tire allocation in qualifying because you need to be out early, and then there is track evolution, but why not.”

Final 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona results, stats

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona overall results were all streaks: two consecutive victories in the endurance classic for Meyer Shank Racing and three in a row for Acura.

And Helio Castroneves became the second driver to win three consecutive Rolex 24s and the first to win in three straight years (Peter Gregg won in 1973, ’75 and ’76; the race wasn’t held in ’74 because of a global oil crisis).

Starting from the pole position, Tom Blomqvist took the checkered flag in the No. 60 ARX-06 that led a race-high 365 of 783 laps with co-drivers Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud and Colin Braun.

RESULTS: Click here for the finishing order in the 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona l By class

Meyer Shank Racing now has two Rolex 24 victories and the 2022 championship since entering the premier prototype category of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2021.

“I think what’s so special about this team is we are a small team compared to some of our opponents, but the atmosphere, the way we work, enables people to get the best out of themselves, and I think that’s why we’re such high achievers,” Blomqvist said. “I think there’s no egos. It’s a very open book, and that just enables each and every one of us to reach our potential. I think that’s why we’ve achieved so much success in really a short time at this level of competition.”

It’s the 16th IMSA victory for MSR.

The 61st running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona marked the debut of the Grand Touring Prototype category that brought hybrid engine technology to IMSA’s top level.

In other categories:

LMP2: James Allen passed Ben Hanley on the final lap and delivered a victory in the No. 55 ORECA by 0.016 seconds. It’s the second IMSA victory for Proton Competition, which last won at Sebring in 2012. It was the first Rolex 24 victory for Allen and co-drivers Gianmaria Bruni, Fred Poordad and Francesco Pizzi.

GTD Pro: Cooper MacNeil won in the last start of his IMSA career as the No. 79 Mercedes-AMG GT3 scored the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for WeatherTech Racing and the team’s fourth career victory.

MacNeil, who co-drove with Maro Engel, Jules Gounon and Daniel Juncadella, earned his 12th career victory and first at the Rolex 24.

“Winning by last IMSA race is tremendous,” MacNeil said.

GTD: The No. 27 Heart of Racing Team delivered the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for Aston Martin, which has been competing in endurance races at Daytona International Speedway since 1964. Drivers Marco Sorensen, Roman De Angelis, Darren Turner and Ian James (also the team principal) earned the victory in the English brand’s 13th attempt.

It’s also the first Rolex 24 at Daytona win for Heart of Racing, which has seven IMSA wins.

LMP3: Anthony Mantella, Wayne Boyd, Nico Varrone and Thomas Merrill drove the No. 17 AWA Duqueine D08 to victory by 12 laps for the team’s first class win in IMSA.


STATS PACKAGE FOR ROLEX 24 HOURS OF DAYTONA:

Fastest laps by driver

Fastest laps by driver after race (over the weekend)

Fastest laps by driver and class after race

Fastest lap sequence

Lap chart

Leader sequence

Race analysis by lap

Stint analysis

Time cards

Pit stop time cards

Best sector times

Race distance and speed average

Flag analysis

Weather report

NEXT: The 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season will resume with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring March 18 with coverage across NBC, USA and Peacock.