Sebastian Vettel says Formula One needs to “try things that make sense” after the new elimination style qualifying failed to impress in Australia.
Under the new system the slowest cars were pulled from the running at 90 second intervals, but it appeared to create considerable confusion as to when drivers would be eliminated, while Q3 proved a shambles with all the teams - except Mercedes - only sending their cars out for just one lap.
“I even had time to get changed before the press conference,” said Vettel. “We all said what it was going to happen, so I don't know why people are surprised. We were told to wait and see, we waited and we saw it, that's it.
“It didn't work, it was all about managing traffic at the start of the sessions, crazy at the beginning, everyone pushing to get one lap in, but there's no reason for that. There were no cars to watch at the end of the session, when the track is better, and a big rush at the start of the session.
“At the end there were no cars on the track for the fans to see, when they wanted to see Lewis, Nico, Kimi or whoever to be out there now.
“We don't need the criticism now, we had the criticism before, but this is surely the wrong way to go. We can't just try things, we have to try things that make sense, instead of trying things that everyone criticises.”
Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, who will line-up 1-2 on the grid and just ahead of Vettel in P3, similarly felt the new format was lacking.
“It's good that F1 tries, but this was the wrong way, so we should go back to the old system, especially for the last session,” Rosberg said. “I'm not really able to judge about the first two sessions.”
“We haven't seen qualifying so we don't know how it worked for the others. We said it wouldn't work but we shouldn't knock it until you tried it. We tried it and it didn't work, so we should go back. The engineers were right!” Hamilton added. “It didn't make any difference for me, at the end of the day. It's a good step to try something new but if it doesn't work and go back to the old system. That's what they tried to do, a new thing, even though we all told them it was wrong…”