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Lauda slams 'crazy' F1 qualifying fiasco

2016-04-01 12:39

'MUSICAL CHAIRS' QUALIFYING: Former Formula 1 driver Niki Lauda says the 2016 qualifying format should be scrapped. Image: AFP / Luca Bruno

Berlin, Germany -  A meeting to analyse the future of Formula 1's qualifying format has already been scheduled for Bahrain.

In the paddock on Thursday (March 31) , the widespread feeling was that the sport was "crazy" to have not scrapped the new 'musical chairs' system after the Australian GP.

F1 legend Niki Lauda said: "It's crazy, because we saw in Australia what happened. The teams and drivers were all in agreement.

Read: F1's new knockout qualifying system - How it works

The Mercedes team executive told Osterreich newspaper: "Nevertheless, Jean Todt wants to try again. And (Bernie) Ecclestone. Because they feel that their toes have been stepped on.

Lauda added: "They say 'We make the rules!' So now we still have this stupid qualifying."

Vettel still not impressed

Also exasperated at the situation on Thursday was quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel, who likened it to F1 forcing fans to eat vanilla ice-cream when all they want is chocolate.

Vettel said: "Usually you do what your clients want you to do, so you're not really doing your job if you do the exact opposite. This is something they can't be proud of."

But, for now at least, 'musical chairs' is still in place.

Lauda said: "I'm curious to see how the audience responds."

Read: Controversial F1 qualifying gets another spin in Bahrain

However, it emerges that the low-profile FIA president Todt, as well as Ecclestone, have travelled to Bahrain where a new meeting about qualifying will take place.

Haas' Gunther Steiner said: "I hope it is better here, but after qualifying we will hold a meeting to figure out how to move on."

Paddock confidence, however, is not high. Current F1 champion Lewis Hamilton said: "My engineers say it's going to be exactly the same this weekend (as in Australia).  So the fans are going to be unhappy again.

"I just hope they do something afterwards."

Drivers looking to rebel?

According to one rumour, the F1 drivers are so collectively angry about the sport's decision-making process that they are asking for a seat at the F1 Commission.

2016 Championship leader Nico Rosberg said: "We've got different ideas, but I don't want to go into detail at the moment.

"But qualifying is the perfect example, it cannot be that everyone is against this new qualifying, everyone wants the old one back, but we are here and it's like this because of a couple of people.

The German added: "As drivers we do want to contribute more to making the right decisions for the sport."


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