Toto Wolff: “The new format is pretty rubbish”

Toto Wolff believes the new-look qualifying format introduced ahead of the Australian Grand Prix needs re-evaluating after being heavily criticised for its complexity and anti-climatic ending.

Despite seeing his drivers finish the session first and second, the Head of Mercedes Benz Motorsport insisted that what was seen during the three qualifying phases in Albert Park on Saturday was not the solution that was required to make the race weekend more exciting, and in fact saw less running than what was seen during the previous format of qualifying run between 2006 and 2015.

“We need to look at the qualifying format again,” said Wolff. “I’m the first person to say that we shouldn’t talk the sport down but when the evidence is there before your eyes, you cannot shut them and deny reality.

“The new format is pretty rubbish – much too complicated to follow and a damp squib at the end with nobody running. These were the downsides that we expected to see – and they outweigh the upsides, that much is clear now.

“We wanted to listen to the promoters who were calling for a change – but my personal opinion is that we have found the wrong solution and we need to think carefully about what we do next.”