Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has added his voice to a growing chorus of negative reaction to Formula 1’s new qualifying format, describing it as “pretty rubbish” following a disastrous debut.
The format change sees drivers eliminated throughout the session at regular periods, however it became apparent that the teams failed to understand the system and sent their drivers out too late.
Things didn’t improve when the teams got the hang of the timing, with drivers instead opting to remain in their garages, leading to a rather uneventful qualifying session which was decided three minutes before the checkered flag fell.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the session, Wolff immediately called for change and suggested the system would be tweaked or even dropped before the next race.
“I’m the first one to say we shouldn’t be speaking bad about things on TV, but I think the new qualifying format is pretty rubbish,” said Wolff.
When asked whether it could change or be dropped, he replied: “We need to discuss that. Everbody is trying to do their best to improve the show. Sometimes when we find out we haven’t improved the show but we have made it worse, we need to sit down and say what can be done, can we come back [to the old format]. I think that discussion is going to take place.
“We all sat in the room and what we want is to listen to everybody, the promoters, that’s important. If the Saturday is something that needs to be improved then we must look at it. That’s what we did but the solution is not good in my opinion and that’s why we need to come back and look at it again.”