Ecclestone unhappy with new-qualifying format

Bernie Ecclestone has admitted he has not been enthusiastic about the new-look qualifying session that made its debut on Saturday at the Australian Grand Prix since it was introduced, and reaffirmed that feeling after the session.

The Formula 1 supremo believes the format needs changing, perhaps before the next Grand Prix in Bahrain next month, but has warned going back to the previous system is not necessarily the way to go.

“I watched it, but I have to say I wasn’t enthusiastic about it from day one,” said Ecclestone to Autosport. “It was pretty crap. But this is what we’ve got, until we can change it.

“The only thing about this [format] is that the quick guys could have run off the road, or done anything a little bit silly, and then you would get a mixed-up grid, which is what we wanted. It just happens that Mercedes are still very, very good.

“If we go back to the old system, I tell you what would happen: Mercedes would be first and second. Pretty simple.

“What I don’t want to see is where you and I could predict how the grid is going to be for the start of a race, and how that race is going to finish. You and I could sell everything we’ve got and put our money on Hamilton winning. It’s not what the public want.

“If you are a fan and you are on the way to a race we should be discussing whether or not Hamilton has to push, whether the Ferraris are quick, or maybe somebody else comes through, but they can’t do that any more. That’s what the problem is.”