F1 drivers unhappy with qualifying change, meet with FIA's Whiting

Formula 1 drivers have urged the FIA not to alter the current qualifying format for fear the proposed changes will be too complicated for the fans

F1 drivers unhappy with qualifying change, meet with FIA's Whiting

FIA race director Charlie Whiting met with 13 of F1's drivers in the paddock at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya on Wednesday evening to discuss the latest recommendation to qualifying.

Revised qualifying plan to be ready for start of F1 season

Force India's Sergio Perez has made it clear the revamp is not to the drivers' liking.

"We shared our thoughts with Charlie," said Perez, speaking to Sky Sports News.

"We're not very happy with the rules they want to implement. Let's see if they can change it.

"For the fans it can be very complicated to understand. It's complicated for us already, so for the fans it will just make things more and more complicated.

"We feel the qualifying at the moment is really good. I don't think there is a reason to change that."

The latest suggestion is for the first two periods of qualifying to feature the knockout format that was voted for at a meeting of the F1 Commission in Geneva last week.

That will see the slowest driver eliminated every 90 seconds after a period of early running to set a laptime, with 15 advancing into Q2 and eight into Q3.

The final session, however, will remain unaltered, with all eight drivers on track throughout, as it was believed the knockout style would result in too little action for the fans over the closing stages, as the numbers dwindle.

Alongside Perez in the meeting with Whiting was team-mate Nico Hulkenberg, Ferrari duo Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, Mercedes' Nico Rosberg, Haas pair Esteban Gutierrez and Romain Grosjean, Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer from Renault, Toro Rosso's Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr, Felipe Massa from Williams and McLaren's Jenson Button.

Perez has conceded to being grateful to Whiting for consulting the drivers.

"Charlie has been really good to get us involved in these changes," he added.

"He wants to definitely hear more our impression, so that's definitely good."

Magnussen shared Perez's view about the drivers being asked for input, saying: "That's positive and I hope there will be more of that in the future."

The Renault driver confirmed, when asked by Autosport, qualifying was just one of the subjects on the agenda with Whiting as he sought opinion from the drivers "on a number of things".

The 23-year-old did at least suggest going into a season not knowing how qualifying would work was not ideal.

Magnussen said: "It would be better to know now, it would be easier to prepare.

"We'll see what happens. We give our opinion. It's not up to us to decide."

A final decision will come from the World Motor Sport Council in Geneva on Friday.

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