Wolff: F1 should "crucify" anyone who blocks qualifying change

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has cheekily suggested that anyone who stands against a push to get rid of elimination qualifying in Sunday's rules summit should be 'publicly' crucified in the Formula 1 paddock.

Wolff: F1 should "crucify" anyone who blocks qualifying change
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 Team W07
Bernie Ecclestone
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 Team
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
Robert Fernley, Sahara Force India F1 Team Deputy Team Principal
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 Team W07
Toto Wolff, Mercedes GP Executive Director with his wife Susie Wolff
Toto Wolff, Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder

F1 teams, Bernie Ecclestone, Jean Todt and Pirelli will get together at midday in the Sakhir paddock to discuss what to do about the qualifying format for the remainder of the season.

There has been intense criticism of the new knock-out format that was rushed through for the start of this season, and there appear to be no supporters for it to remain in place in its current guise.

But in the wake of a failure to adjust the rules for Bahrain despite team agreement in Australia, there remains a danger that either tweaks to the format or a full revert to the 2015 concept may fail to get the unanimous support needed to change.

When asked about his feelings on the potential of someone standing alone and not accepting change, Wolff said: “If somebody puts a block in the system to make us stuck, we should publicly crucify him in the paddock…”

Ditch idea

With many observers suggesting the elimination format in Bahrain was even worse than its first outing in Australia, there appear to be even fewer supporters for the format.

However, FIA president Jean Todt said on Saturday that a number of options would be given to teams about changing things for the Chinese Grand Prix – including having extra tyres or a single-lap shoot out for Q3.

There appears to be a growing feeling, however, that with F1 having got it so badly wrong so far, that the only sensible outcome will be going back to the 2015 style of qualifying.

Wolff added: “When I spoke to Jean Todt last week, he said he wants to approach it in a structured way.

"He thought on Q1 and Q2 there was maybe something to learn, and therefore he would rather go for the Melbourne format or the hybrid version once again, to find out if it is all bad.

“And if it we realise it is all bad then probably the most realistic scenario is to go back to 2015 qualifying. He said that to me.

“We are not in the position any more that after we have changed it twice, to do experiments for Shanghai because we would look like fools.

“But maybe there is a different format that could be interesting. Today someone mentioned single lap shoot-out for last eight drivers, honestly I think that could be interesting.

“I remember FIA GT did this ten years ago. But I think we need to properly assess it and if we find out all the data and all the information we collected make it look like an interesting format then we should implement it in the rules and race it next year. But in a structured way.”

Strong opinion

Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley concurred that the best thing for F1 would be to go back to last year's format, even though he feels that tweaks could make the elimination format work.

“I just think we have to wait for the meeting to find out,” Fernley told Motorsport.com. “There is quite a lot of very strong opinion that is unlikely to be swayed, but I think there will be something sorted out.

“I just think that you cannot keep reverting to something like the set-up we have today which we know isn't quite right. So something has to change.

“There is obviously no appetite to try to adjust the system as that has been voted against already, so at the end of the day you have probably only got one option – and that is to go back to 2015.”

shares
comments
Haas F1 Team: Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying recap
Previous article

Haas F1 Team: Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying recap

Next article

Rosberg expects "a lot of overtaking" in Bahrain race

Rosberg expects "a lot of overtaking" in Bahrain race
Load comments
Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1 Prime

Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades.

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Prime

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season Prime

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as Stuart Codling finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022