Vettel: F1 should listen to demand over qualifying format

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Sebastian Vettel has criticized the decision to keep the elimination Formula 1 qualifying format for this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix, saying that the sport is failing to cater to demand.

The addition of quickfire eliminations to the old Q1/Q2/Q3 structure in Australia proved disastrous as it only exacerbated the problems it was intended to fix, such as having too few cars on track and pole being settled early.

Team bosses provisionally decided to scrap the new format for Bahrain, only to fail to agree on a replacement when meeting with the F1 Commission, resulting in a stay of execution.

Most have been critical of the failure to revise the format, with four-time champion Vettel using an interesting analogy to express his disappointment.

“If you sell vanilla ice cream and everybody that comes to the shop asks for chocolate ice cream, the next day you open you are expected to sell chocolate ice cream,” Vettel said.

“But instead you decide to sell vanilla ice cream again.

“So, I think that usually you do what your clients would like you to do, but you’re not really doing the job, I guess, if you do exactly the opposite.”

Vettel was one of a number of drivers to sign a letter from the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association last month calling for changes to be made to F1’s governance structure.

The German driver said that although no exact demands were made for qualifying, something had to be changed.

“We the drivers didn’t give any proposals. We just made it clear that something is not right and that something has to change,” Vettel said.

“We are drivers and we are not here to make the rules but I think for some decisions it would be beneficial to listen more to the drivers and to the fans.

“You have to do what’s the best for sport at the end. We just have to find the best system.”