Bernie Ecclestone declares F1's new qualifying format 'pretty crap'

Bernie Ecclestone has called the debut for Formula 1's new qualifying format "pretty crap" after watching it on television

Bernie Ecclestone declares F1's new qualifying format 'pretty crap'

The F1 supremo is not in Australia for the opening grand prix of the season, but he spoke to Autosport shortly after the session finished, with Lewis Hamilton taking his 50th career pole position.

"I watched it, but I have to say I wasn't enthusiastic about it from day one," said Ecclestone.

"It was pretty crap. But this is what we've got, until we can change it.

"The only thing about this [format] is that the quick guys could have run off the road, or done anything a little bit silly, and then you would get a mixed-up grid, which is what we wanted.

"It just happens that Mercedes are still very, very good."

Vettel leads drivers' criticism of new qualifying format

Ecclestone said he was "sure" the format could be revised in time for the second round of the season in Bahrain on the first weekend of April, but he warned against simply going back to the previous format.

"If we go back to the old system, I tell you what would happen: Mercedes would be first and second," he said. "Pretty simple.

"What I don't want to see is where you and I could predict how the grid is going to be for the start of a race, and how that race is going to finish.

"You and I could sell everything we've got and put our money on Hamilton winning. It's not what the public want.

"If you are a fan and you are on the way to a race we should be discussing whether or not Hamilton has to push, whether the Ferraris are quick, or maybe somebody else comes through, but they can't do that any more.

"That's what the problem is."

Ecclestone again outlined the idea he put forward to change qualifying for this year, with race winners picking up time penalties to be added to their best laps.

"My idea was a simple one - you leave qualifying alone," he said.

"It's been good for the last 60 years, and it's good for the guy that wants to have more poles than anybody else, and he should be allowed that.

"But I wanted to take the results of the last race, and the guy that won that race, would have so many seconds, or tenths of a second, added to his qualifying time.

"So that might put the guy on pole in sixth or seventh or wherever [on the grid], and then we would get a mixed-up grid and some good racing for at least half the race.

"Obviously the poleman would still have a good chance of winning."

shares
comments
Sebastian Vettel leads drivers' criticism of F1 qualifying revamp

Previous article

Sebastian Vettel leads drivers' criticism of F1 qualifying revamp

Next article

Team chiefs say 'rubbish' F1 qualifying format has to change

Team chiefs say 'rubbish' F1 qualifying format has to change
Load comments
Hamilton at 100 wins: In his adversaries’ words Plus

Hamilton at 100 wins: In his adversaries’ words

Some 18 drivers have finished runner-up to Lewis Hamilton on his way to 100 wins. Three of those recall their battles with Formula 1’s centurion and give their personal insights into the seven-time world champion on his rise to unchartered territory

Russian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Russian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 Russian GP was decided by late-arriving rain that allowed some to climb and caused others to plummet. But the events which played out beforehand are equally significant when considering the all-important driver ratings

How Mercedes made the “blind faith” call that won Hamilton his 100 milestone at Sochi Plus

How Mercedes made the “blind faith” call that won Hamilton his 100 milestone at Sochi

Until rain turned the Russian Grand Prix on its head in the closing stages, Lando Norris was set to convert his first Formula 1 pole position into a maiden win. But having recovered well from being shuffled back at the start, Hamilton and his Mercedes team called the changing conditions spot-on for a landmark 100th F1 victory

Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces Plus

Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2021
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Plus

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery Plus

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021