Vettel derides latest qualifying scheme

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In the round-up: Sebastian Vettel is unimpressed with plans to add an aggregate element to qualifying.

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Just like the last time a Belgian driver entered a grand prix (d’Ambrosio, Italy 2012), it was as a reserve driver.

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65 comments on “Vettel derides latest qualifying scheme”

  1. I get the impression that he has learned a lot from Webber.

    1. Flying lessons?

  2. I think that this time Bernie and Todt are both guilty of the qualy fiasco, Todt is really stuborn , if it were for the teams we already would have comeback to last year qualy format.

    1. A few days ago Todt said the issue of the now current Qualifying system was put to a meeting, and it was carried unanimously. I don’t know if the teams were represented at this meeting, but I would expect them to be, and if they were then it means the teams all agreed to current Qualifying system. If the teams revert back to the old system then that means they will have backtracked on the stance. Hamilton said the Mercedes engineers all said there would be problems with it, and yet those opinions weren’t taken into consideration when the voting took place because it was a unanimous decision.

      1. @drycrust That is just smoke and mirros. The teams were given the choice of: Reverse grid for top 8 (iirc), or the current elimination qualifying system. So that they unanimously agreed to the current system does not mean that they wanted it. It was just the lesser of two evils.

        1. @mads They should have not agreed to either and then we wouldn’t be in this position.

      2. ColdFly F1 (@)
        5th April 2016, 9:51

        @drycrust, Todt is correct, all the teams agreed to the new quali format. That was at a meeting (or facsimile vote) some 2 weeks before Australia.
        (what @mads talks about was the facsimile vote after Melbourne)

        But in the teams defence:
        – it was a last minute proposal with little/no pre-warning. And at the time BE was uttering even more extreme ideas (reverse grid; ballast; alphabetical order; Le Mans run to the cars; etc.). Thus the teams gave in to have some change to stop the ‘super stupid ideas’.
        – the teams quickly came out saying that there were some potential issues with the rushed change like not having enough tyres;
        – after OZ quali the teams recognised the terrible mistake made, and within 24hrs voted unanimously to revert to the old system.

    2. His_majesty
      5th April 2016, 17:20

      Speaking of Todt. I now see why Barrichello left early. It wasn’t just Schumacher!

  3. Good job you’re not dictating F1 then Mr Todt.

    That tweet is wrong to say Kimi has no personality and hates his fans. He has shown personality plenty of times, just not during interviews!

    1. Kimi just needs to mix in a philosophical Samurai quote or two once in a while. LOL

    2. Yeah I agree that’s absolutely wrong. Kimi is pretty good to his fans. He just has his own style, which adds hugely to F1’s repertoire.

      I also agree on Todt, that’s the first thing I thought of. How ridiculous he is.

    3. Funny how on the one side, I think many of us would like the FIA to be the one making the rules. But on the other hand, Todt himself gives us the best argument to be glad he is not in control with his comment!

      1. Funny how Kimi was voted favourable driver by fans if his personality and behaviour towards fans is so bad. It’s precisely because of his funny way that makes him loved. Yes yes yes.

        1. You probably do not expect Kimi to give you much attention or have a nice chat with you if you are his fan.
          If you follow him having such expectations then you you are following the wrong driver.

  4. Unicron (@unicron2002)
    5th April 2016, 0:14

    Potentially exciting news at the Red Bull Ring then. I’m looking forward go hearing further news on the developments, even if F1 never used it.

  5. i repost @crammond ‘s comment as this could be a big story
    Here is an english source which translation i can describe as acurate

    what comes to mind: Why would a Monaco resident try to evade taxes? Is there any benefit for MercedesGP or Daimler AG?

    1. All good questions goofy.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        5th April 2016, 9:53

        Massa ans Barrichello have also been named in the Panama Papers. @bascb

        1. and Trulli too. I have also seen Di Montezemelo mentioned @coldfly. I think the whole thing is a bit more uncomfortable for Mercedes (with Rosberg) than it will be for the others due to their well publicised official stance on good governance.

        2. knoxploration
          5th April 2016, 17:29

          What’s the over/under on Ecclestone, Todt and Mosley all featuring quite prominently?

    2. Taxes are for the little people, i.e. those without access to the Formula One Paddock Club

    3. what comes to mind: Why would a Monaco resident try to evade taxes?

      It’s almost certainly not as simple as that, I’m not an expert on Monaco taxes but I do know that countries with a reputation as “tax free” may not be as tax-free as some like to think. For example whilst Monaco doesn’t have Income Tax it will likely have corporation tax and VAT which could either or both come into effect. This is probably the case since the driver will not be employed as an employee working in Monaco for a Monaco organisation and therefore it is likely that his income will be through a company (at least one) for which he provides his services.

      In addition to this it is not just Monaco where he will have a liability for income tax, many countries will apply an income tax on appearance fees, image rights and prize money at events staged in their country. Indeed the UK applies (or certainly used to apply) draconian tax charges on a proportion of worldwide income for athletes competing in the UK based on the length of their stay, regardless of how much they actually earned for their UK trip. Famously this was the reason why Usain Bolt always stayed away from UK competitions as he would have paid far more in tax for a single competition in the UK than he could have generated in appearance fees.

      By moving fees and income sources around various tax-neutral structures it is almost certainly possible for formula 1 drivers to reduce their global tax payments significantly and it is no surprise that they would have these structures in place. Indeed having such structures in place may not necessarily imply any illegality – this depends on whether the structure results in legal tax-avoidance or illegal tax-evasion.

  6. Jimmy Price
    5th April 2016, 0:34

    So Mark Thompson prefers cliche over enigma.

  7. Hey Mark Thompson!….please show me proof Kimi hates his fans! I doubt anyone that laid back is capable of hating anyone.

    1. It’s like the world can only exist in black and white for some people.

  8. Okay, so now the FIA and whoever are taking these decisions are just randomly throwing stuff at a wall and seeing if something sticks.

    Aggregate. Qualifying. Makes. No. Sense.

    At least for the reasons they want to change it. More cars running? The drivers will do exactly what they did with he previous system. Go out, do one lap, go back in. Change tyres. Go out, do another lap, go back in.

    More variability? Maybe, but only slightly so. At most 1 or 2 drivers might be a bit out of position (and the chances for big upsets like a Mercedes out in Q1 are almost non-existent).

    How is this an improvement over the previous system? They need to stop and think for once.

    Disclaimer: Personally I like the aggregate system, but only very marginally over the previous system.

  9. Is social media commentary on Lewis Hamiltons social media, all getting too much !?

    1. Yes, I am no fan of his but am a big fan of cars and like it when he posts about the cars he has, years ago F1 drivers used to drive Merc estate cars with diesel engines as they used to say sports cars were pointless as so far below the F1 cars they drive, I like how more drivers now have really nice road cars. If people do not like what he says just do not read it.

  10. “…so I cannot allow the FIA to be sued.” — Jean Todt, Autosport interview
    Can someone please threaten the FIA with a lawsuit for ruining qualifying? Ideally it would be a circuit promoter who could cite severe drop in ticket sales as well as requests from fans for refunds for Saturday tickets. In the worst case, I think it could be a single ticket holder in some US jurisdiction, again on the basis that the FIA mandated qualifying rule range has destroyed the value of Saturday qualifying.

    The pre-race start grid interviews had the Crown Prince of Bahrain not denying it is the circuit promoters that requested a change to qualifying, therefore any ticket holder should contact their circuit promoter and voice their concerns. I’ve already let the Canadian GP organizers I will definitely not be buying tickets with current qualifying format.

  11. Interesting Todt saying he thinks it is doubtful the drivers even know how the F1 governance works. That’s a bit condescending isn’t it? First Bernie insulting the drivers and now Todt? I think the drivers know one thing quite well, the governance as it stands does not work properly, it is broken. And, the drivers have better ideas of how to fix F1 than the governance does. The drivers are on the front line of suffering from the incompetence of the governance. But they are probably too simple minded to understand? Please. The politics of the F1 circus sink lower every day.

    1. It doesn’t even need to be that prosaic. The Nice Agreement in 2000, which is basically the FIA’s probation agreement created to settle the monopoly case launched against it by the EU, requires that commercial and governance interests be kept separate. Jean has made a false statement – the FIA had more control over F1 in 2010 as none of the current agreements existed until 2012 (and the power-sharing one with FOM that appears to breach the Nice Agreement was signed in late 2013).

      Yes, the FIA would be sued if it imposed a bad qualifying format. However, it is at serious risk of being sued for the actions it has taken, and even more serious risk of being sued because it signed away some governance power to FOM in late 2013. (The qualifying spat makes that obvious because the FIA plainly disagrees with Bernie Ecclestone, but has not been in a position to call him out on the manipulations he made to create this disrepute-creating situation as it should have done).

      As such, anyone anywhere could sue the FIA for putting F1 into disrepute – including my brother, whose first F1 session of the past 5 years was a re-run of Bahrain qualifying, shown to him by my dad because he wanted to show him how far F1 had fallen and knows he likes to mock ridiculous things. (No, he’s not going to seek out any more F1, but he found plenty to mock, and he is pretty disgusted at what the sport he used to enjoy so much has done to itself).

      It seems as if only the teams and drivers are willing to use any sense whatsoever. I don’t think the teams planned to have that dissent between the first two races, but it showed the FIA very plainly that sometimes dissension is a powerful tool to subvert bad ideas. (Why else would Jean attempt Hobson’s Choice with such heavy pleas for unison?) The teams now know, thanks to Williams and Force India, is all they need to do is get one team to vote for each proposal and they can win this. Sooner or later, the FIA will get the hint that it has to allow qualifying to go back, simply because Jean will start losing backers within the FIA…

  12. As Brundle said on Sky’s coverage over the weekend, this whole thing about qualifying is nothing but a power play. Bernie’s nose is out of joint because in the hybrid era the engine manufacturers have a far greater influence on F1 than they did before. This has provoked him to forge a stronger alliance with Todt who shares a common interest in dictating Formula 1.

    The losers in all of this are the F1 fans and lest not forget that all the drivers can be included in this group as well. If we were to take the scenario to the nth degree whereby there was a total fan and driver boycott for one F1 weekend only, demanding the 2015 qualy format back, just how ridiculous and powerless would Bernie and Jean look?

  13. This just in- Bernie Ecclestone and Jean Todt have decided to screw F1 up.
    And also a piece of advice to newer F1 fans: Only and only watch the race. If you try to follow up on what’s going on in the paddock, only pain will you find.

    1. Great idea, since Races are excellent this year. Political part ofnthe weekend is rather tedius by now.

  14. ColdFly F1 (@)
    5th April 2016, 6:23

    Great to see that Vettel continues to speak up.
    Correct for BE to say FIA is in charge of rules (so shut up BE)
    Todt seems like the Platini of F1; I was excited when he was thought to replace the previous crook, but he appears to be just as bad (no decisions rather than bad decisions).
    I just did a 180 on Hamilton’s social media messages. It has now become one of the few interesting things coming out of F1.

    That’s my round-up.

    1. @coldfly Regarding Todt – you can’t have someone endorsed by the two biggest crooks, and expect him not to be a crook himself.

      1. knoxploration
        5th April 2016, 17:35

        Exactly. It was obvious from the start that Todt would be an awful FIA president. That has been borne out from day one by his actions in office.

  15. I couldn’t agree more with Todt. The FIA SHOULD be in complete control of F1, just like most sports have that sort of governing body. But he shouldn’t be the one in charge of the FIA.

    1. That is it right there.

      Right now we have the worst of both worlds. Bernie with too much say so and on the other hand Todt who has no clue either. But, totally agree the FIA should be the governing body.

  16. All this talk about dictatorship and democracy in F1 is pretty nonsensical. Firstly, F1’s governance structure has nothing to do with democracy right now. If a bunch of wealthy men make decisions and millions of people (fans) simply have to accept them, then it is not a democracy. Even some teams are more equal than others!

    Also, F1 cannot be a typical dictatorship because it is a sport, not a country. You can often be forced to live in a dictatorship if you were not lucky enough to be born in a democracy. However, you cannot be forced to watch F1 or be a part of it. No matter if you are a fan, a team, an engine supplier, a sponsor or a driver, you can always simply walk away (all agreements expire at some point and are often terminated early). If you run F1 and want to keep it alive, you have to make people happy somehow; it is not about being a ‘democrat’ or a ‘dictator’.

    If F1 fans or teams accept the way F1 is run, it is only because they believe that the pros outweigh the cons, not because they have no choice. Long story short, we are talking about an (in)effective governance structure of a sport, not about Azerbaijan and Finland.

    1. Great post @girts

    2. @girts
      “Firstly, F1’s governance structure has nothing to do with democracy right now. If a bunch of wealthy men make decisions and millions of people (fans) simply have to accept them, then it is not a democracy.”

      That’s pretty much the corporate style of “democracy” originating from America and their “New spirit of the age”…
      More than half of the voting body is disillusioned and doesn’t vote, while the remaining ones can vote for the two sides of the same coin, who will just end up doing what a bunch of wealthy men tell them to do, regardless of what they’ve promised before being elected and what is in the best interest of the people.

  17. Bernie and Todt are on the PR offensive and so far they have been right. The drivers, fans and even teams seem to hold no power. Bernie and Todt continue to push all kinds of things against everybody’s will. The drivers are getting more vocal then i have ever seen them in recent years, but it is not enough. They have to come together and do something if they want change.

    1. Bernie says Merc and Ferrari have too much power and he cannot do what he wants because of them, on the face of it thank God for Merc and Ferrari but in reality this is a typical Bernie power play. Put out an extreme to get agreement on a middle ground he is really after, if he does not do this no change will occur. I have a feeling he is dragging F1 through the dirt to buy it cheap then put in rules that may well not be too shabby, all the great eras people look at so fondly like the 80’s and early 90’s were when he had nearly all the power. With other powerful parties now involved he has to go to great extremes to get towards anything he is really after. This is a very complex issue with every party having their own interests in mind and I do not feel there are clear bad and good guys.

      1. The fact that Ferrari voteo’d on the engine price cap, but after bernie and todt introduced the independent budget engine basically made them get their way around the veto makes it clear that in reality the power is very limited. As long as Bernie and Todt can enforce rules, they can make the teams do what they want.

        The only reason we still have v6 is because manufacturers will pull out of f1 if we go back, so the agreement to keep the v6 until 2020 doesn’t matter to Bernie. It was going to happen anyway. When they make the sport better, it’s nice to have one leader, but right now the problems of one guy with no accountability is very clear. Of course it is very difficult to please everybody, but i think most people agree that qualifying has not improved and the idea of generating more downforce in a time where driving in dirty air is such detrimental to overtaking clearly shows no idea of the racing fundamentals.

    2. @thetick I disagree.

      Bernie and Todt wouldn’t even bother to answer if they were really powerless. Drivers do have power, drivers do have fans; Bernie doesn’t nor Todt.

      That’s why they felt forced to try to silence the drivers, first by saying they have no power, second by trying to divide them (it’s Wurtz alone who did it …).

      They are defending their position every day, this can’t be without reason. They are pressured by the medias which are pressured by the fans which are pressured by… the drivers.

  18. @keithcollantine should start a kicksarted campaign to get himself the money top do a CVC buyout :)

    1. @davidnotcoulthard I suspect if you added together all the money raised by every Kickstarter campaign you’d still end up a few billion short.

      Actually it would be interesting to know what the difference would be…

      1. Last week some reports said CVC were trying to sell their remaining stake for 8.5 m Dollars. So every single person in the world will have to give more than 1 Dollar to buy it.

        1. Sorry 8.5 Billion not Million Dollars

      2. a total of 2.16 billion U.S. dollars has been raised. Need about 4 times that amount like markp said.

    2. It’s a question though – who should own F1?

      Investment institutions are greedy and will manipulate the competition and sell it to pay-TV for a short term killing.
      Teams are selfish and not very clever at anything that involves more than going round and round quickly.
      Fans are all over the place wanting conflicting things like loads of aero, pure qualifying, yet with loads of wheel-to-wheel.
      FIA are structurally corrupt with a small electorate beholden to the incumbent, like FIFA.

      And it’s still the case that nobody can find anybody better at it than an 85-year-old who was born before transistors. Why am I even writing this? – Bernie and his unique talent for endless drama! Instability, conflict, tension, controversy.

      I wonder if his natural successor is not in fact Lewis Hamilton? :))

    3. @davidnotcoulthard It seems that most successful campaign ever raised around $20m. Even if Mossack Fonesca oversaw the process and Daniel Ricciardo was among the rewards, I doubt that we would get anywhere near the target… That said, I still love your idea :)

    4. @keithcollantine @girts I wonder if it’d be cheaper to just pay mercenaries to invade the UK (or maybe at least the Channel islands, or at least Jersey, or even just St.Helier?) and set up a government there that gives the ownership of SLEC holdings to someone else.

      Of course, there’s then the problem of who to give SLEC holdings to and the would-most-certainly-be-impeding NATO counterattack but hey, at least Bernie loses his power!

      1. @davidnotcoulthard I might even try to survive a nuclear war if that is what it takes to give @KeithCollantine control over F1…

      2. Less complicated to hire an assassin to take care of Bernie, less complicated, no NATO action and it will have the desired result.

        1. Doesn’t change the fact that F1 is owned by SLEC owned by Delta Topco owned by CVC, etc though.

  19. I’d be interested in knowing whether or not any of the F1 Journalists has been following up with race promoters to verify Todt’s statement that they had to change Quali “because the promoters asked for it”

    Martin Brundle asked the Crown Prince on Sunday at Bahrain and got a blank look – spoke volumes for me.

    The introduction of yet another “option” and flat out refusal by Todt to offer a reversion to 2015 as an option (despite him saying he would) also speaks volumes about the contempt with which we (the fans), the teams and drivers are being held.

  20. My thoughts on what you could do to make qualifying more interesting while retaining the pure sporting spectacle?

    Have a ‘standard’ type of GP car in which each driver sets a qualifying time. Bit of cost to to set it up of course, as you’ll need quite a lot of them. But imagine – on Saturday, you have the same sort of format as you have at the moment, even potentially the elimination format, but with every driver in an equally performing car, the driver who ends up on pole is the driver who genuinely extracts the most from the car. You can have a pre-qualifying warmup beforehand, so that the drivers can get their arm in with the qualifying cars, which gives even more opportunity for the fans to see the drivers on the track, then a half hour break before you’re straight into qualifying.

    The fastest driver sits on pole, so there’s no question of it being unsporting or manufactured, but you end up with a mixed up grid with the potential for lots of overtaking.

    1. Yeah and Merc or whatever team will love the fact pole has nothing to do with their car and they get no exposure for qualifying despite spending hundreds of millions. Who builds the quali car? Pirelli cannot even get a car to test tyres with.

  21. FIA wants to be dictator, Fine do your thing… Q3 like 2015… then after one race make Q2 like 2015 aswell and then after another race might aswell make Q1 like 2015 aswell..

    Aggregate option I like on paper, each driver would need to do two flying laps per session to have any chance. Good thing about it is.. it is actually 2015 style with agreegate thingy in the middle. It makes cars run more in all sessions to that I agree. How about 2015 style Q3 (Q3 always was rather good) and agreegate Q1, Q2 to ensure all cars run atleast 2 laps? This meets goals of FIA and promoters + ensures we do get fastest lap on pole. Resonable right?

    As for drivers making snug comments…I agree fully 2015 for me was better. But if promoters demand change and more running… there we go it can be done.

  22. I really liked C4’s coverage. Edwards is never going to work out for me, it didn’t in the past and it never will. Why would I want a pretensions commentator, that’s not a commentator, lead don’t make expert views, your are no expert. I’m over reacting, Croft is a worst example.

  23. I have an idea… Drivers should protest and not run in qualifying… Rules as they are will then look at P3 times for pole… So simply do their one hour quali style in P3 and then refuse to run shamble Q.

  24. I wonder if Panama might soon be emerging as a more pressing issue than new qualifying rules…..?

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