Team bosses demand immediate changes to “rubbish” qualifying

2016 Australian Grand Prix

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The team bosses of Red Bull and Mercedes have strongly criticised Formula One’s new qualifying system and called for talks on revising it again before the next race.

Christian Horner said the sport should apologise to fans over the lack of action during the Australian Grand Prix qualifying session.

“We should apologise to the fans here,” Horner told the BBC, “we haven’t put on a show here”.

“I think we should accept it, we tried it, it didn’t work – I think we should apologise to the fans.”

The final part of qualifying ended with no cars on the track for several minutes. “Qualifying should be building up to a crescendo,” said Horner, “we need to learn from it.”

Horner believes changes “need to be done for Bahrain. I would prefer to go back to qualifying we had, but that is my personal opinion. I think it was better the way it was.”

Mercedes chief Toto Wolff is also not a fan of the new system. “I’m the first one to say we shouldn’t be speaking bad on TV about some of the things,” he told Sky, “but I think the new qualifying format is pretty rubbish.”

Asked if the system could be changed before the next race Wolff said: “I think we need to discuss that.”

“Everyone is trying to do the best to improve the show, and sometimes when we find out we haven’t improved the show but we have made it worst then we need to sit down and say ‘what can be done, come we come back’. And I think that discussion is going to take place.”

2016 Australian Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
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    51 comments on “Team bosses demand immediate changes to “rubbish” qualifying”

    1. I have no problem with it

      1. My tea pot has no problem with it either. Not exactly a ringing endorsement of high speed motor racing at its finest and most competitive, though, is it?

      2. Honestly, people just have no idea what they are seeing or doing. Not even the cameras or whoever operates them. It was rubbish coverage, but the qualifying was really entertaining (for me, since I knew what I was watching).
        If they revert to the old system, I’ll revert to watching the build-up to quali and then turning off and waiting for the results.

        1. Really? It was entertaining to watch all the cars in the pits, and no one setting a time in the last 3 minutes of Q3? Yeah. Absolutely thrilling…

          1. They are always in the pits. With the old system it was just hanging around for 8 minutes and a mad dash at the end. It’s like the one hour qualifying, except it’s divided in 3 parts, but it still had exactly the same problem: it was all about who did their lap the latest.
            Although I do agree the cameras were TERRIBLE because there were cars on track and they were filming the pits like absolute retards. That I will totally agree with.

            1. So you would rather front-load all the excitement to the first 7 minutes of Q1, and have them spend even MORE time in the pits than in the previous system? Because that’s what happened, regardless of coverage.

              You say it wasn’t exciting for us because we have “no idea what they are seeing or doing”, and that it truly was exciting if you “know what you are watching”. I find that both insulting and laughable.

              You must know something special if over 90% of the readers on this site, plus F1 engineers have “no idea”.

      3. Well then you must be more interested in watching an empty track and drivers climbing out of cars than in actual racing. This was an abomination, the worst qualifying format that we’ve had in the quarter-century I’ve been watching F1. And the sad thing is, it was blindingly obvious that this would be the case to anybody who took even 20 seconds to “carefully” consider it.

        Heads should roll over this. There is no leadership at all in F1 any more, and the only remaining good thing left in terms of racing has just been butchered.

      4. You must not have a problem with cancer either, because for me, this is just another case of the nincompoops in charge tinkering with something that didn’t need fixing, and making it worse, while completely ignoring the things that actually do need fixing in F1 and pretending the sky is not falling.

      5. If you don’t have a problem with this, you’re obviously not a fan of the sport. There was nothing exciting about watching cars sit in the pits because they were either out of tires or just didn’t have the time. This doesn’t do anything to show the true performance of the cars, and it’s completely embarrassing. Never again

    2. PLEASE don’t come up with more Tweaks and changes. Just go back to the previous mode, there was Never anything wrong with It in the First Place. For more Action on Track, Insert Allocation of 5+ Sets ultrasofts per driver per Qualifying Session. Problem fixed Thank You Very much. #notexactlyrocketscience

    3. Never in my 26 years on this planet have I experienced a time where I’ve ever felt so frustrated, annoyed and just utterly defeated about the sport I grew up loving above all others.

      As long as the Ecclestone-Todt–CVC-Strategy Group political conglomerate maintains in control over the direction of Formula 1, the sport will continue to hemorrhage fans and viewers and attendees. How can they continue to miss the point so drastically, so regularly?

      1. Incredible isn’t it? They were told this would happen and just went ahead anyway, teams had to agree or reverse grids. Bernie is trying to de value F1 so he can buy it back on the cheap then do all the obvious things to improve it. He will make a profit and look like a saviour but at his age he might get timed out without getting a proper go at it, which after todays disaster will be ironic.

      2. @willwood – The 2017 regs await as an even worse disaster. I wish it wasn’t so, but it already looks like most well known common sense ideas are being totally ignored. Please let me be wrong about this.

    4. suryana (@mursidsuryana)
      19th March 2016, 8:26

      pertamax here.

      it was exciting. till they were eliminated one by one.
      the worst part was da last 6 minutes.


    5. If you are a one-eyed LH fan, you are probably unconcerned but Russian fans are probably not so enthusiastic. Today actually went reasonably well with lots of cars on track in Q1 and Q2 (didn’t help the producer to show the important laps though) but I wonder how it would have gone if there had been a big crash or rain on a dry track, I can’t see too many cars on track in those circumstances.

      1. Hey, I am blind in my left eye, and I am a Lewis fan….lol

    6. How am I suppose to attract friends to start watching F1 when this kind of rubbish happens?
      They now think that F1 is boring and do not see the joy of it.

      F1 qualifying should be nail-bitingly exciting down to the last seconds. Huge opportunity missed by Formula 1 to promote F1.

    7. I wonder if we need to improve the show, would it work to go back to the old qualifying format but make it mandatory for all drivers to be on track for a minimum of 60% (arbitrary percentage) of each session, unless it was raining or they could show they had a problem. More cars on track in each session would mix up the grid due to people tripping over slower drivers and would give the fans something to watch.

      1. Want Cars on Track in FP? Hand out tires for FP only. Want Action in Qualifying? Hand out sufficient FAST tires for People to improve all throughout Quali. It reaĺly IS that simple.

        1. Indeed,just give them plenty of tires and we will see them drive trying to improve lap time.

          1. Do that and you’ll have a repeat of that credit fuel qualifying format. Teams just buzzing around waiting to set a lap time or set a hot lap that you know is safe and send the car into the garage for a refuel and a strut around the track to end the session. That would actually impede slower teams trying to get hot laps in at the end. And some sinister teams will use this to obstruct teams behind them on hot laps. Just go back to the old system.

    8. To keep myself entertained I looked up the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow. #thingsyoucandobeforequalifyingends

      1. An African or a european Swallow?

        1. an australian one

          1. All three are beautiful creatures, nice plumage and sturdy dorsal guiding feathers.

        2. What color?

    9. What a crock of crap (new qualy)
      If they want to eliminate each one at the end of 90 secs at least let them finish the lap
      Go back to the old format at leastbthey were on the track

    10. Here’s a thought. Stop trying to “improve the show”. Start there. Today was just a really bad joke exactly because you wanted to make the whole thing more arcade. Leave it be. F1 should be racing, not Burnout Paradise or whatever game they took this idea from.

    11. It cost me $180 bucks to watch that rubbish live! Firstly, it was hard to follow, even with a big screen opposite where I was sitting. But worst of all it was a snore fest. I love F1 but this new qualifying sucks! Get rid of it.

    12. Hello,
      Refueling back (more drama on more to see), V12 engines back (the sound and tone, not only the noise is important, also shows much more who can really drive), much more power to engines by using V12, so much tyres as you want to use and all type (more strategy, more driving), radio conversations away; totally. F1 should not be an idiotic saving in everything concerning driving itself. They do have e formula etc. and it’s enough. World it’s not saved by this idiotism.

      1. Refuelling took drama away and on track overtaking was dramatically reduced.

        This quali was terrible, in over 30 years of watching formula 1 I don’t think I have ever seen cars and drivers weighed before the end of quali… Teams should have double the tyres and the previous qualification system reintroduced… At least then if nothing more the back markers will still push for position… Hoping that the lack of radio comms in the race makes up for the lack of quali action…

    13. I was sitting at the first corner and I couldn’t work out what was happening. I had to glance at live timing on an iPad the person in front of me was using so I could see who had been eliminated. You know how they say “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it?”.

      1. i was utterly astounded by that farcical Q3. the end product of the race for pole resulted in 2 Mercedes doing 2 laps, 2 Ferrari’s doing 2 laps and the rest doing 1. total of 12 laps. the worst has yet to come……. with 3 mins left in Q3 the TV coverage was of vettel getting weighed. Come off it. I could have went and watched some clubman racing today and had more fun.

    14. For once I agree with Christian Horner, well said sir.

      The most enjoyable thing for me in qualifying is to see an unexpected lap at the very last possible moment to seize the pole or to gain a place far ahead of what anyone could have expected. That is all taken away in this blindly front loaded system. The best laps seem to be the first hot laps taken. There is not enough time for drivers on the cusp to come back and redeem themselves. They can be on a hot lap with better times than other drivers with mediocre laps, but then their lap doesn’t count. This does not seem like a good way to reward competitive skills.

      Bringing back single lap qualifying would be better than keeping this hot mess. Even better, bring back what was already in place.

    15. “Everyone is trying to do the best to improve the show, and sometimes when we find out we haven’t improved the show but we have made it worst then we need to sit down and say ‘what can be done, come we come back’. And I think that discussion is going to take place.”

      So, we need to look at getting rid of things that haven’t improved the show or made it worse? So these STUPID power units will be ditched then?? Bring back PROPER F1 engines that SCREAM!!!!

      Oh, and as mentioned by just about EVERYONE today who has even the slightest knowledge or interest in F1, ditch this ridiculous qualifying nonsense!!

    16. Utter, utter crap. Despite it all, I’ve been watching F1 since the late 80’s, and this was the worst qualifying I’ve ever, ever seen. Over 3 mins to go, and no one on track. No way.

      Please, it wasn’t perfect, it’s not my preference, but it worked. Go back to last year’s system.

    17. Waaait, dont these guys control strategy group?

      Why are they complaining about their own rules?

      I thought it was a cartel of Ferrari and Mercedes who govern F1… Why do they listen to the old strongman on regulations?

      1. Is a cartel of Ferrari and Merc if you believe Bernie’s rumblings. This was created because of Bernie. He was the one who went in the strategy meeting with the idea to change qualifying. His original idea was even more terrible and they ended up accepting the half-terrible as to make him shut his mouth.
        Maybe they knew it will be this bad and let him have it so they can go back and say to him, “see, stop messing with the rules you ain’t qualified”.

    18. This ridicolous 1.6 litre V6 engines sounds like a vacuum cleaner. I think this is not okay. And when bugdet’s in teams are big so why does it seem that the only meaning is save tires with ridicolous ‘engines’. Engines back to V12, refuelings back, no radios on car (only emergency situations), tires and fuel so much you need; no and no to this whole stupidness we see nowadays in ‘F1’. F1, so far I have understood should be the ‘king serie’ of car motorsport not a tyre, gasoline saving etc. stupidness.

    19. I haven’t seen a quote yet from Bernie. I do wonder what he thought of it.
      How to make an anticlimax out of an opportunity.

      1. From ESPN F1:

        “I watched it, but I have to say I wasn’t enthusiastic about it from day one,” the F1 boss told Autosport. “It was pretty crap. But this is what we’ve got, until we can change it. The only thing about this [format] is that the quick guys could have run off the road, or done anything a little bit silly, and then you would get a mixed-up grid, which is what we wanted. It just happens that Mercedes are still very, very good.”

        1. Thank you @adamgoh I’m pleased he was unequivocal in his condemnation. This was reported on the Telegraph web site

          Formula 1 looks set to abandon the controversial new elimination qualifying system in the wake of heavy criticism after its introduction at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
          F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone admitted it had not worked, but said he was reluctant to revert to the old system.
          The 85-year-old wants to introduce an element of uncertainty in the hope it will hinder Mercedes’ domination.
          Teams are expected to meet in Melbourne on Sunday to discuss what to do next.

          I just hope that Bernie’s original idea of time-added-for previous-success isn’t adopted.

    20. Aren’t these the same team bosses who previously voted in favour of this system?

      What a bunch of idiots.

      1. I like how everyone forgets that Bernie is the one who wanted to mess with the qualifying system in the first place.

    21. Bring back the old qually but fine drivers who don’t bother going out 10 seconds on Grand prix time. So nobody just gives up and sits in the pit. I just wasted 2 hours of my life.

    22. Combine all three qualifying sessions into one long 30-40 minute session. The one with the best lap at the end wins qualifying. DONE !!! Go out or don’t go out but you can bet there will be cars out at all times for sure.

    23. I haven’t missed a race since 1997. I have been watching F1 since I was 6 or 7 yrs old and I’m in my mid 40’s. I can’t recall a more boring qualifying, even back when they did the silly 1 lap system. Last night I got up at 2 am to watch what I consider to be a total joke. It was not only boring, but hard to follow as well. It seemed unfair and random. If this system stays, I bet a majority of fans will simply stop watching. This is the first time I have honestly considered giving up on the 1 sport I have loved most of my life.
      If we already have Formula E, why must F1 continue to save fuel, use 4 engines for a season, be powered by batteries, have crappy tires, and use engines that you can’t even hear? Today is the saddest day for F1 fans since 1993. Our sport is dying a slow a painful death because of all the gimmicks and tree-hugger rules.
      Bring back big powerful engines w/o batteries, no DRS, tires that last more than 1 lap, NORMAL qualifying, and an aero formula that lets drivers race, and get back to tracks in Europe that have character.
      Teams should break away form this farce and create real Formula One asap.

    24. The only thing bad about the new qualifying format was Q3. Prior to that all drivers were going full out – the way I see it is to to tweek Q3 by only eliminating a small number (3 or 4 per Q1 and Q2 rules) and letting the remaining duke it out until the end. Think about it

    25. Why didn’t the top four try to improve their times in the last four minutes? They all had time to get out of the pits, do an out lap and a flying lap which they would have been allowed to complete as normal. I think the teams decided to make this fail and did just that, if anyone should be apologising it is the team bosses.

    26. Enough of a reason never to watch F1 again, that was appalling.

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