Sebastian Vettel says he is pleased F1 has listened to criticism of the widely panned new qualifying format and will return to the erstwhile 'knockout' system from Bahrain, but says it is a shame a U-turn was even necessary.
The German was a staunch critic of the new format, which would see drivers eliminated one-by-one at 90secs intervals, saying before the Australian Grand Prix that no-one was in favour of it and it was too complex to follow.
His fears would be realised, the desired effect of having cars on track trying to keep themselves in play never materialising as drivers spent more time in the pits than in action. With Vettel leading the call to change it back, team bosses held a crunch meeting with the FIA on Sunday to agree – subject to ratification – to return to the former popular format.
However, while Vettel is pleased to see the 'embarrassing' format reversed, he says he is disappointed that it is being forced into doing this at all.
“Yes and no [happy to see it change],” he said. “Yes because qualifying was a joke and no because we shouldn't have had it in the first place. It is good to see when something doesn't work we immediately go back, but then again it isn't good that we allow something like that to happen.
Indeed, Vettel says this debacle should bring F1's decision-making processes under scrutiny and how new ideas are fully thought-out before introduction.
“I think we need to work on the decision making process and the people that are going to put some thoughts into what to do to improve because yesterday was an embarrassment and you can only apologise to the people watching in the grandstand.”