Sebastian Vettel qualified third for the Australian Grand Prix, but felt the new-look elimination style qualifying should not have been introduced, with the German feeling it was wrong to have made changes to the format.
The Scuderia Ferrari driver believes the elimination-style qualifying format is not the way Formula 1 should have gone, feeling it is not more exciting as it was hyped up to be, with the German insisting engineers had predicted the anti-climatic endings to each session that was seen in Australia.
“I don’t understand why all the people are so surprised now,” insisted Vettel. “It was clear what was going to happen, there were plenty of engineers and other brains that, basically, had sort of predicted what would happen.
“It was crazy at the beginning with all the cars lining up at the end of the pitlane, and everybody trying to set a lap time to avoid the risk of being eliminated. And then it was very quiet, same in Q2 and equally in Q3.
“So I don’t think that it is more exciting, it’s definitely the wrong way to go. Nothing has changed from what we had said a few weeks ago, but apparently somebody liked it, otherwise we wouldn’t have had this format…”
After qualifying third, Vettel felt the gap to the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS duo ahead of them was bigger than he was expecting, but felt it was worth only doing one run during qualifying to save a set of tyres for the race.
“In comparison to the Mercedes drivers we are a bit further behind than we expected, but we are happy with 3rd and 4th, especially for me as it was a bit difficult to find the rhythm in Qualifying,” said Vettel.
“I felt quite good with the car in P3, but then it took some time to get back, and only in Q3 it really started to happen. I had a very good lap, and in the end, because the gap was quite big, I felt that my first lap had been good enough.
“There really wasn’t another half a second in there, so we called it off, and saved a set of tyres, although surely we would have loved to be closer.”