Sebastian Vettel says he was confused why Formula 1 bosses opted to drop the use of grid girls and the switch on race start times but shrugs off the impact of the changes to the sport.

For 2018 F1 commercial rights holders Liberty Media have shaken up the show element of the sport by delaying race start times by 10 minutes to allow some TV schedulers enough race build-up time compared to previously starting on the hour.

Liberty’s other headline change was the axing of grid girls in F1 which provoked a mixed reaction from fans and key sport figures.

Vettel says he was initially unsure why F1 opted to drop the use of grid girls, having been a critic when grid girls were replaced by male models for the 2015 Monaco Grand Prix, but has played dwon the significance to how it effects his role.

“I think I’m a traditionalist and I like to hold on to certain things,” Vettel said. “There’s a lot of things I’m not a specialist in and I don’t need to understand.

“I’m confused why the races start later, a bit sad that there are no more grid girls but other than that not many changes yet. From a driving point of view there’s obviously not that much that has changed.”

Vettel has backed more fan initiatives and events that have been promoting by Liberty Media and has encouraged similar projects during the 2018 F1 season. Last year London hosted F1 Live in Trafalgar Square which saw 19 of the drivers run street demonstrations in F1 cars alongside a live music stage and display cars.

“I think it’s great to see and I heard last year continuously around the track people supporting us,” he said. “There were more things to do, it was a bit more fun, which I think is great.”