Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes Formula 1 has never “seen such an absurdity” as the chaotic end to Italian Grand Prix qualifying.

The majority of the Q3 runners missed out on setting a second timed-lap during qualifying at Monza after the field left it late to emerge for their final runs, with drivers squabbling for position in order to try and gain a slipstream.

As the pack bunched up through the opening few corners it became apparent that drivers would not be able to cross the line in time to start their respective last laps before the chequered flag, with only McLaren’s Carlos Sainz able to do so.

It led to farcical and anti-climatic scenes, with the FIA currently investigating the final lap of qualifying having already warned drivers about going unnecessarily slowly in the search for a tow.

Charles Leclerc ultimately pipped the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas to claim a home pole position for Ferrari at Monza.

“For the fans, we lost a climax on the last qualifying lap but at the end of the day none of us have ever seen such an absurdity,” Wolff said.

“Monza and Spa are very specific with the tow and motor racing has always been about tows so I can see the interesting aspect of it. The various discussions that are taking place have some positives.

“It certainly creates some topic for discussion. These things can happen in my opinion in a way that it is also a chess game on obtaining the best grid position.

"But at a certain stage it escalated, starting in Spa and then we could see in F3 yesterday that there were games cutting the chicane and reducing the speeds to minimum levels and it became disproportionate.

“I think what we saw today was the consequence of all cars missing the last lap, it’s just a shame for Formula 1 and it doesn’t do any of the teams or the drivers any good.”

Wolff said he would be open to discussions about making changes to qualifying in the future, though he stressed he is happy with the existing format.

“What we hear from fans and TV stations is that the current qualifying format is actually exciting,” he explained.

“But we have also realised that on tracks where the slipstream matters you see this kind of bizarre slowing down movements.

“I personally like Superpole, I liked it in GT cars and I liked it in touring cars and it’s exciting to focus on one car and follow him on one lap but obviously it takes much longer.

“I’m open for discussion, personally I like both formats.”

 

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