Coulthard laments loss of flat-out qualifying

David Coulthard has lamented the loss of flat-out, optimum set-up qualifying from the new F1 schedule

Coulthard laments loss of flat-out qualifying

Saturday qualifying will now see teams have to run on the fuel loads they they will start the race with, meaning that cars will no longer run to the absolute limit.

Speaking about the old qualifying format Coulthard said: "That was something really special and I think it's a shame that it has been lost to the history books."

As well as pointing out circumstances where it could actually be advantageous to be slowest on Friday, Coulthard did not enthuse about the degree of artificiality caused by the championship leader running first on Friday.

"We will probably look now to Friday as an indication [of ultimate speed]," he said, "but as it's a reverse grid, there is no way that the session will be at its quickest on Friday for Michael going out. It has to be quicker at the end when Minardi go out. The way it's designed to disadvantage the world championship leader fundamentally changes what we've had in F1 in the past - a free track for the quickest car to perform.

"It's a bit like Arsenal having to pull off one man for the last 10 minutes of a football match because they're leading the championship by five points. Is that fair?"

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