Despite Lewis Hamilton setting his 50th pole position today in Melbourne Mercedes AMG Petronas Team Principle Toto Wolff was one of the first to criticise the new qualifying process calling the new system rubbish in an interview for Sky Sports F1.
Christian Horner and Niki Lauda later joined public criticism of the system and have called for the teams to agree for the system to be dropped for the 2nd race of the season. In order for the system to change mid season a unanimous decision from the teams will be required.
As suggested on this site when the system was announced the intention of the system was promising, but the practical implementation flawed. A system in which 6 of the 8 cars taking part in the final session of qualifying only run once, leaving the circuit empty for the final 4 minutes of the session does not build to any form of crescendo, the tension of qualifying is lost.
Teams further down the field clearly didn’t quite understand the system, with the likes of Sauber and Haas sending their drivers out onto the circuit with less than 90 seconds before their driver was eliminated from the session. Team’s indicated in pre-season testing the new format was flawed and would lead to confusion and reduced track action, they must now act collectively to ensure a change.
Lewis Hamilton has called for fans of the support to use social media to share their views on the system and suggest changes.
It can be expected the FIA will act to tweak or drop the format ahead of the 2nd race of the year.