F1 will reconsider elimination qualifying

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says Formula 1 will look at a better way of introducing elimination qualifying in the longer term, despite its failure at the Australian Grand Prix.

Following criticism about the shambolic end to Q3, when there were no cars out on track for the final minutes, teams agreed unanimously on Sunday for the sport to revert to the old system from the next race.

Such a move still needs approval by the Strategy Group and F1 Commission though, which may yet throw up some opposition.

But having spent more time reflecting on the situation, and the fact that the new system may have played a part in some of Sunday's thrills, Wolff believes that longer term a form of elimination qualifying could be right for F1.

"I think in hindsight, all the teams had a pretty equal opinion about qualifying and I think that the F1 Commission will listen to the teams' opinion, especially if it's unanimous," he said.

"I'm sure there is a way to optimize it, but I think it needs time and structure and process and analysis in order to have the right decisions and have the right format."

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton said he thought F1 would be making a mistake by going back to the old system, because he believes the sport should be about trying new things.

Wolff added: "Lewis' opinion is interesting and I heard another opinion like this - Max Verstappen said the same: that it is quite a challenge and tricky to be out there, you need to perform, you can't really let go, because you could be out.

"There are some drivers out there who like the challenge - and I think it is an exciting format, a shoot-out, as long as you're capable of really transmitting that in the right way onto the television.

"The spectator needs to be able to follow it - and the feedback we had from the guys watching it is that it's very difficult. Either you watched the timing and you didn't look at the cars out there, or it wasn't really clear who was in and who was out.

"And Q3 we all have the same opinion: that it's rubbish."

Optimising the system

When asked if it would be better for F1 to adapt the system than go back, Wolff suggested that further analysis may deliver the perfect solution.

"I think we can optimise it but this is a global sport and we need to acknowledge that we have responsibility, and changing the rules every week is not the right way forward.

"We've seen that there's good bits about it and the teams' decision was to look at it next winter, maybe during the season, and analyse what we can do in order to optimise it and come up with a solution that really works."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Teams Mercedes
Article type Breaking news