Vettel says qualifying farce no surprise for drivers

Sebastian Vettel says the Australian Grand Prix qualifying farce was no surprise, as drivers had warned F1 chiefs against the new format.

The new system was introduced against the wishes of the majority of the drivers, who had said that qualifying was the one thing that did not need changing.

On Saturday, however, the system came under fire after there was no action in the final minutes of Q3, with Lewis Hamilton having secured pole early in the final segment.

Ferrari driver Vettel did not even go for a second run, meaning pole was decided very early.

"I had time to get changed... it is very easy," joked Vettel. "I don't see the point anyone is surprised when we all said it was going to happen.

"We were told to wait and see and now we saw.

"It is a bit crazy at the beginning, when everyone is doing laps, managing the track and it's quite busy.

"In the end it was not for the people in the grandstands so it's not the right way to go.

"At the end people want to see Lewis, Kimi [Raikkonen], me pushing. Surely it is the wrong way to go.

"We can't just try things that will be criticised... We need to be sensible and do the right change," added the German.

Mercedes duo agrees

Hamilton said that it was good that F1 tried something new, but admitted the format had not worked, as his engineers had predicted.

Hamilton added: "We said at the beginning it wasn't the right way, but we can't knock it before we try it and all the engineers were right.

"They tried something new, that is a good step. Trial and error."

Mercedes diver Nico Rosberg said Formula 1 should immediately go back to the old format after having seen the new one does not work.

"It is good that F1 tries but it is the wrong way we should go back to the other way for the fans. For the last one especially," Rosberg. said.

Qualifying no different for Button

McLaren driver Jenson Button said the new format had not changed anything for him, except for the "nightmare" in the pitlane as cars tried to get on track.

"Doesn't really change anything," Button said.

"The only really thing that's different is the pitlane's a nightmare - cause there's cars everywhere, cars being pushed back into the garage while we're trying to stop in the box and change tyres.

"So it made it a bit of a difficult situation for us as a team but... out on the track, no problems."


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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Australian GP
Track Albert Park Circuit
Drivers Sebastian Vettel
Teams Ferrari
Article type Breaking news