Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Bahrain International Circuit, 2016

Elimination qualifying “just not right” – Vettel

2016 Bahrain Grand Prix

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F1 drivers remain unconvinced by F1’s new elimination qualifying format after it was used for the second time in Bahrain.

Sebastian Vettel said it was unsatisfactory to see so little running at the end of each phase of qualifying.

“Naturally with this format everyone has to go out more or less straight away otherwise you get knocked out and then there’s quite a lot of time you spend sitting in the garage and waiting.”

Sergio Perez, Force India, Bahrain International Circuit, 2016
Perez fell at the Q1 hurdle
“So obviously for us, running in, let’s say, the top five… yeah, I think it’s just not right when you have the last four minutes and nothing’s happening. That’s usually when people should be smashing the lap times: not only in Q3 but also Q1 and Q2.”

Pole sitter Lewis Hamilton said the new format makes “zero difference” for the front runners and Nico Rosberg doubted the system has won many people over.

“I think in the end we should just listen to everyone watching in front of the TV and the fans at the racetrack, see what they say and, if they continue to not like it – as I’m sure they won’t – we should change.”

Sergio Perez was a notable casualty of the elimination format as he dropped out in Q1 while team mate Nico Hulkenberg progressed to Q3.

“It was an unlucky session and we just miscalculated things,” said Perez. “I think the mistake was doing an extra timed lap during my first run in Q1 because it left me short of time for my second run.”

“It looks like we just got caught out and it’s going to hurt my race tomorrow. It’s a shame because the car has shown good pace today and we had the potential to have both cars inside the top ten.”

2016 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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7 comments on “Elimination qualifying “just not right” – Vettel”

  1. Is it fair, is it tecnicaly pure, does it make any difference to the front runners? Who cares. All i know is that it is horrendously boring. If this qualy system persists I’ll just watch the race. It just not worth my time.

  2. Mustavo Gaia
    3rd April 2016, 5:02

    If somebody is really interested in elimination, give the teams two extra sets of tire and make them all qualifying in full fuel load.
    Otherwise, it will be this trash: everybody goes at the same timeat the beginning, three are eliminated after the first attemp – because of the turnaround time – one or two guys have a second shot and nothing happens in the final moments.

    1. The killer for me is that drivers cant finish their laps. So it doesnt matter if they are on a desperate flier.. if they post the lap 0.5s after the time expires its all over.

  3. If you really want to shake up the grid for Sunday the qualify positions can be determined by lottery. Each driver has a ball with their number on it put into a bag. Bernie Ecclestone can do the draw, holding the balls up to the TV cameras. To show appreciation the person who thought up the current elimination system can provide the ball bag.

    1. Yeah Lottery sure would introduce unpredictable grid.

    2. I really do not want to think of Bernie’s ball bag at 9am thank you very much.

  4. Well make elimination race then, reverse grid start, on end of each lap last car retires to the pits…

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