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New style qualifying unpopular in the F1 paddock - Mixed to negative reactions from drivers

Published by Christine

New style qualifying unpopular in the F1 paddock
Credit: McLaren Honda
New style qualifying unpopular in the F1 paddock audio waveform

The majority of opinions heading into the new format settled around “There’s not much wrong with qualifying, but hey, let’s give this a go if it’s going to spice up the show.”

Unfortunately, it didn’t manage to do that – the order of cars on the grid is very similar to last year, quite predictable, with just a couple of out of place drivers. The action was all geared towards the start of each session, with the ends seeing empty track, most noticeably at the end of Q3 where there were four long minutes of no action at all.

The reaction in the paddock is mixed but mostly negative. Ricciardo said Q1 and Q2 were ok but Q3 was an anti-climax that didn’t make sense. Sainz said it was stressful and the drivers weren’t looking forward to it, but teammate Verstappen said it was exciting. Button offered that he was watching the numbers rather than the cars, Rosberg said it was wrong, Massa said it was terrible, and Christian Horner admitted: “We should apologise to the fans.” Now we have to wait and see what happens next.