Mar.29 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Toto Wolff has slammed the decision to keep the highly controversial ‘musical chairs’ qualifying format in place for Bahrain.

After the system’s farcical debut in Melbourne, team bosses got together on Sunday before the season-opening race and agreed to scrap it.

But amid calls for a governance overhaul of the sport, the change did not get the go-ahead of the F1 Commission, which comprised of all the major stakeholders including circuits and promoters.

Mercedes team boss Wolff, having immediately declared the new format featuring 90-second elimination countdowns as “rubbish”, said on Tuesday that F1 is now making a further mistake by continuing with it in Bahrain.

“The teams were unanimous in their opinion of it on Sunday in Melbourne and it wasn’t a positive opinion,” he said.

“We haven’t found the right format with this change and it’s hard to see how it might be more entertaining for the fans this weekend in Bahrain.”

Wolff suggested he is not a believer in the adage that any publicity is good for F1, with many saying the sport is clearly in crisis.

“The sport is under scrutiny on this matter, so careful thought is required in order to make coordinated, intelligent steps forward from the position we are in right now,” he said.

“The fans want close racing, in a format they can understand, between the best drivers and cars in the world — in that order. We should be capable of delivering that to the people in the grandstands and watching around the world.”


Mar.29 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Toto Wolff has slammed the decision to keep the highly controversial ‘musical chairs’ qualifying format in place for Bahrain.

After the system’s farcical debut in Melbourne, team bosses got together on Sunday before the season-opening race and agreed to scrap it.

But amid calls for a governance overhaul of the sport, the change did not get the go-ahead of the F1 Commission, which comprised of all the major stakeholders including circuits and promoters.

Mercedes team boss Wolff, having immediately declared the new format featuring 90-second elimination countdowns as “rubbish”, said on Tuesday that F1 is now making a further mistake by continuing with it in Bahrain.

“The teams were unanimous in their opinion of it on Sunday in Melbourne and it wasn’t a positive opinion,” he said.

“We haven’t found the right format with this change and it’s hard to see how it might be more entertaining for the fans this weekend in Bahrain.”

Wolff suggested he is not a believer in the adage that any publicity is good for F1, with many saying the sport is clearly in crisis.

“The sport is under scrutiny on this matter, so careful thought is required in order to make coordinated, intelligent steps forward from the position we are in right now,” he said.

“The fans want close racing, in a format they can understand, between the best drivers and cars in the world — in that order. We should be capable of delivering that to the people in the grandstands and watching around the world.”

  • Homo Sapiens

    But, all the team bosses agreed to the “new” qualifying farce so why are they now complaining about it?

    • isszy

      Not really. They were only offered 2 choices – this or a system along the lines of the top 10 qualifiers being placed in a reverse grid – ie the fastest qualifier starts from 10th. They chose this as the ‘least worst’.

      Can you imagine qualifying where in Q3, drivers tried to do the SLOWEST lap so they started at the front of the grid ? The only way this would work would be if they awarded championship points for qualifying, and even then qualifying would have to be worth more than the race…

      • Wallace

        I agree. The one common denominator here that is making bad decisions is the F1 commission aka Bernie. He is so far west of what the majority of the stakeholders (teams, drivers and most importantly the fans) want he is a liability to the sport. It is time for him to go. We need a younger, dynamic leader of the sport that listens and makes calculated intelligent decisions, not knee jerk reactions and then changes his views every 2 minutes to cover his ass. My vote would be Ross Braun.

    • Kay Challis

      They weren’t allowed to go back to the old qualifying format, despite having voted unanimously for it. They simply weren’t given that option.

      • Wallace

        Correct. Again, Bernie and the F1 commission’s only 2 options to vote on and input is in direct opposition to what the teams, drivers and fans want. And all you hear from Bernie is that the teams are like a mafia and have too much say? I don’t think so Bernie. Ecclestone is so out of touch with reality it is embarrassing. Please someone tell him to hang up his boots.

    • Wallace

      They only agreed because they were only presented with 2 options by the F1 commission’s agenda to vote on: the farcical mess we saw or a reverse grid where the fastest starts 10th etc etc…(Bernie’s ridiculous input). They voted for the least worst. So it really is Bernie’s doing as regardless of what the teams, drivers want his F1 bubbleheads only put forward what Bernie says and he is quite clearly a geriatric who is out of touch with the fans, and the stakeholders.

  • Kay Challis

    I agree entirely; the stupid new qualifying format HAS to go before F1 looks any worse than it does already. The teams don’t want it, the drivers don’t want, us fans who watch and love F1 don’t want it, but the idiots who own and run the sport mistakenly think that it needs to stay. This is clearly the wrong decision, if F1 management don’t think that the stupid new qualifying needs to go, then they do.

  • facesforever

    Whatever the outcome of the dipute between the drivers, teams, fans oposite the nuts who call themselves the governing body of F1, the owners always win. F1 is the big loser. It was qualifying that was wrong previos years, it was the races. Boring and no competition because of the stupid engine freeze rule.

    • facesforever

      I meant, “it wasn’t the qualifying that was wrong, it was the races” of course.

      • Wallace

        Correct :-) engine freeze rules were again brought in by Bernie, though if you ask him he will say it was someone else’s fault. They were brought in because they couldn’t think of anything else to keep the minnows of F1 at the back of the grid included. Dumb move again by Bernie. F1 is all about a race against manufacturers that is what makes it exciting and what sells cars. They need to attract more manufacturers back in to make it competitive and leave small pointless teams at the back of the grid where they belong. Changing F1 to an equal engined par racing series is not what fans want. There are plenty of those racing series already in exisistance.

    • Wallace

      Wrong, the only people who matter is the fans because without them F1 is dead. The fans, regardless of what the teams, drivers or F1 commission thinks, did not like the changes to qualifying. So why the fuck are we doing it again in Bahrain? Someone please answer me this?

      • facesforever

        That’s what i’m saying.

        • Wallace

          “It was qualifying that was wrong previous years”?

          • facesforever

            I corrected myself, read the correction that I wrote under here.