Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Albert Park, 2016

2016 Australian Grand Prix grid

2016 Australian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the first race of the season.

Row 11. Lewis Hamilton 1’23.837
2. Nico Rosberg 1’24.197
Row 23. Sebastian Vettel 1’24.675
4. Kimi Raikkonen 1’25.033
Row 35. Max Verstappen 1’25.434
Toro Rosso
6. Felipe Massa 1’25.458
Row 47. Carlos Sainz Jnr 1’25.582
Toro Rosso
8. Daniel Ricciardo 1’25.589
Red Bull
Row 59. Sergio Perez 1’25.753
Force India
10. Nico Hulkenberg 1’25.865
Force India
Row 611. Fernando Alonso 1’26.125
12. Jenson Button 1’26.304
Row 713. Jolyon Palmer 1’27.601
14. Kevin Magnussen 1’27.742
Row 815. Marcus Ericsson 1’27.435
16. Valtteri Bottas* 1’25.961
Row 917. Felipe Nasr 1’27.958
18. Daniil Kvyat 1’28.006
Red Bull
Row 1019. Romain Grosjean 1’28.322
20. Esteban Gutierrez 1’29.606
Row 1121. Pascal Wehrlein 1’29.642
22. Rio Haryanto** 1’29.627

*Five-place grid penalty for gearbox change.
**Three-place grid penalty for causing a collision with Romain Grosjean

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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129 comments on “2016 Australian Grand Prix grid”

  1. This sport just never fails to disappoint.

    1. yup. And they did

      1. So two thoughts:

        Zzzzzzzzzz and

        “So, second place Nico”

    2. Yep, that was farcical to say the least.

      1. Worst Q I’ve ever seen…

    3. …And no penalty for Hamilton who clearly blocked the pit entry with over 3 minutes of qualifying to go!

      I am of course being sarcastic.
      My favourite comment was that they should have let Hamilton wave the checkered flag.

      What a farse.

  2. It was really worth waking up that early, a good indication of not to wake up tomorrow

    1. you never know @malik, after this shables of a Qualifying format surely the race can only get better? But probably not goign to bother getting up for those early fly-away qualifying sessions for the next few races with this.

      1. @bascb: Yes you might be true for the race but I guess you mean 2017 season :D

        1. Still keeping hopes up for tomorrow myself @malik

    2. Aditya (@adityafakhri)
      19th March 2016, 7:16

      by the law of balances, rubbish qualy might turn out to be great race in the making

      or not.

    3. Ferrari did warn us they weren’t expecting to fight for pole today – but they seemed much more confident about the race, so let’s see @malik, the season isn’t quite over after one Saturday.

      1. @bosyber: I will quote Vettel fro last Thursday ” Well, usually qualifying pace is all about raw pace so I think by trying to make our package quicker, make our car quicker, our engine stronger, we enhance our chances also in qualifying to do well. “

    4. @malik I haven’t missed a race since 2011 and I was thinking I should just sleep through this one tonight…

  3. God that was a tedious farce. How can these very obvious, practical issues not have been thought of beforehand? Absolutely terrible. Change the pitlane fueling, change the tyre rules, or get rid of that absolutely awful elimination quali.

  4. New F1 qualifying was dreadful. No cars on track with 3 minutes to go. What a joke. Qualifying was NOT the problem with F1 you IDIOTS. Don’t fix what isn’t broken. Fix what is

  5. Worst qualifying ever… Mercedes still out of reach.

    1. It really isn’t about Merc being ahead… I think that was to be expected. It was like watching paint dry… boring. I turned my tele off early.

  6. So from 1.4 to .5s. Glass half full person here.

    1. yeh, I agree that the racing does not look to be as much of a done deal (yet?), I think we could see a solid race on sunday @evered7.

      1. Not much hopes for this race. Maybe its a track thing or just that Ferrari haven’t got the special Qualifying engine mode. Bahrain will give a better picture.

        But it was great to see STR beat Williams. That should keep them quiet for a while.

  7. That far exceeded my expectations of how bad it could be. The format is a complete failure.

    1. It’s incredible they went ahead with it, seeing as this inevitable disaster was predicted from the outset, what an embarrassment.

    2. @petebaldwin – Totally agree. I thought it would be bad, but this was amazeballs bad. The only question is now, how do they attempt to get out of it gracefully, or, how long do they stick with it while pretending it is wonderful?

    3. Could not agree more.

      1. The damage is already done, it’s almost as if this was an exercise in how to do as much brand damage as possible. What a joke.

  8. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
    19th March 2016, 7:05

    I can help but feel I’m now, and really, thinking of not watching F1 quali anymore till ot gets a more sensible format (take it back as it was please!)
    And I think that because the next “awesome” solution will keep hurting the sport, at some point this yeat I will stop watching F1 altogether.

  9. No One Better (@)
    19th March 2016, 7:06

    Come cry your hearts out boys and girls ;)

  10. Probably the weirdest qualifying I have witnessed. Hopefully we get back to the old system in Bahrain.

  11. This was one of the most pathetic events I’ve watched on TV.

    F1 never fails to disappoint. Don’t fix something if it ain’t broke!!!

    1. What’s the bets they won’t have the sense to switch it back for the next race, I predict even more embarrassment and brand damage by trying to adjust this format.

    2. I think over 85% of us f1fanatics called the quali system a farce and absolute rubbish. This goes out to the 15% who called us whiners.

  12. Get rid of this pathetic qualy format ASAP

    1. Reverting back to the old system ? Nah, you’re not thinking crazy enough. top ten qualifiers have to run the track in the opposite direction. So you have cars going one way, and cars going another, at 350kmh.

      1. This will still be better than what we’ve watched today.

  13. Made an effort to avoid F1 news since the night before the 1st car launch, trying to get that special 1st race feeling. Turned the tv, eager and bubbling with excitement, only to find out someone changed the recipe of Coke?

    1. @peartree And now it tastes like vomit-flavored soda!

  14. #thingsyoucandobeforequalifyingfinishes

    1. Light a pipe, get into a silk robe and smirk at F1’s impending doom

      1. @wessel-v1, @mickey18 Get your car and yourself weighed #thingsyoucandobeforequalifyingfinishes

    2. Sleep #thingsyoucandobeforequalifyingfinishes

    3. come up with about 5 better qualifying formats

  15. They’ll dump it soon, like in 2005 with the weird aggregate qualifying… I mean, qualifying was one of the few things that I thought was perfect in F1, I always enjoy it!

  16. Watching the final few mins of that reminded me of those US sports where the players start shaking hands and the media start taking photos on the pitch while the clock runs down.

  17. A couple of things:

    1. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Although to be fair, Ferrari are significantly closer than they were around Australia last year. Melbourne is generally a cold circuit with lots of medium speed corners. This suits the Mercedes a lot, see the 1.4 second gap last year. By contrast, this year the gap is only 0.5 seconds (Vettel did not do a final run). As 2003 showed us, don’t lose hope about the whole season after one qualifying session.

    2. This 1:23’8 by Hamilton is faster than 2010 Red Bull, and all the cars from 2006 to 2009 (even fuel-adjusted for qualifying); so much for the modern cars being “slow”. Only the 2011 Red Bull was slightly faster, and in 2011 they could use DRS everywhere (which can probably account for a 0.3 second gap.

    3. The new qualifying format is a disaster. Period.

    1. @kingshark I haven’t been reading the news for the past 3 weeks but anyway I’ll add up that Melbourne is a power circuit, it looked like as though Ferrari wasn’t too sure if they could ramp up the PU to 11, that STR is really close.

      1. @Pennyroyal tea I wouldn’t call this a power circuit.

    2. Yep, I take some heart from your point 1. and 2. and STR being good too, the midfield is quite broad – STR,Williams,Red Bull,FI,McLaren, Renault being not too far off, and fight between Sauber, Haas, perhaps Manor too.

      1. @bosyber looking at gutierrez lap that didn’t count Haas was easily fast enough for q2. I think if we look at the times and past melbourne gp’s we can all see real potential.

        1. I picked that up also. Haas guys seemed to have banked with their first lap then made an operational error in prep for their second run. Both of them did solid second laps that ultimately didn’t count.

  18. Dont need to watch F1 on Saturdays anymore… wife is gonna be well chuffed.

  19. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    19th March 2016, 7:10

    That was terrible.

    Qualifying did not need ‘fixing’ – least of all being changed into this abomination which was frankly boring to watch and lacked any excitement. If anything we saw even less of the cars!

    Also if this is representative of the pecking order this year looks like it’s going to be as metronomically boring as the last. Dissapointing.

    1. I’m looking forward to seeing Toro Rosso that competitive to be 100% fair.

      The qualifying was an utter mess: I was hopeful when all the cars were on track at the same time for Q1 but it quickly went from ‘interesting’ to ‘a complete utter mess’.

      The worst thing, they will try to ‘fix’ it by having two mandatory flying laps in Q3 instead of going back to the old system.


  20. Just awful. I feel cheated simply because I got out of bed early on a Saturday. I can’t imagine how disappointed the people in the grandstands must feel. I said let’s wait and see. Well now we’ve seen, and it was far worse than I ever imagined.

    I have no other words without using profanities.

  21. This is the worst qualy session than last year. Last year there was no Q3 even then that was better.
    Even teams are not clear on how the rules work until Q1 is completed
    If the teams are deciding to just leave after 1 flying lap in Q3 I don’t see the point in this new system. At least in previous format, teams have set more times in qulay. They wanted to fix the lull in the middle of the session and ruined the most important part of the session – end.

  22. Such a disgrace for Kvyat. He has to be replaced by Verstappen immediately.

    1. @krioru: Verstappen is already in the senior team now :D

      1. @malik: Ooh, I see what you did there! :)

  23. That Qualy system hasn’t really worked today. The problem is ‘the show’, this isn’t sports entertainment. This is meant to be the highest level of motorsport, not some fake manufactured ‘show’. I woke up at 5 in the morning for that!!!!

    1. Well seperating qualy from FP was purely for show so by your logic we should scrap qualy and use FP times like F1 used to?

      1. I actually really liked the old qualifying hour, as a 4 year old I always enjoyed it but I felt as if the knockout system was the best, there was no need to change it.

  24. New format is rubbish.
    Ferrari is closer, but still not close enough it seems. Lets see it tomorrow.
    Hamilton was only 0,3 off the track record.

  25. Jose Diaz-Marin
    19th March 2016, 7:13

    This new qualifying format is a total waste of time! I don’t know why the authorities are so dedicated in destroying what once was the top category of car racing. First these awful V6s, now a total lackluster qualyfing session? Does anyone else still wonders why the Sports keeps loosing viewers and spectators worldwide? Who wants to spend hundreds, even thousands of dollars just to watch such a sad “spectacle”? (Bernie, take note!)

    1. I want the new quali format abolished but please bring it back for Monaco and Monaco alone. Just seems suited for a short street circuit like that and the madness that will ensue.

  26. Boooooo FIA…. The 2016 F1 qualifying is terrible !!!!!! Time for the old man to leave the sport I guess….

  27. The new system is quite good in a philosophically absurdist sort of way

    1. @mickey18 – Definitely theater of the absurd.

  28. Well, that was a big balloon fart. But I don’t want to judge too hard yet. Mistakes were made. Sergio Perez in particular had plenty of time to try and knock Massa out, and only needed 11/100. Or maybe he wanted free tire choice?

  29. RIP quali.


  30. It’s so painfully clear to see now why they didn’t reject the proposal, this perfectly makes a mockery of Bernie and his ideas. They can’t come straight out and put the sport in jeopardy by saying Bernie has to go. But they’ll get more outsiders saying that this way…

    1. Exactly what I said. This is the teams doing Bernie over a barrel, publicly, so he stops “fixing” it.

      1. Bernie won’t stop fixing it until the real fix is in. He wants absolute control of F1. If a few F1 eggs are broken, so be it. F1 is Bernie’s omelet and CVC, Ferrari and Merc better prep the kitchen.

    2. Didn’t think about that! Bernie gets out-Bernied? Hmmmmm

  31. #EliminateElimination

    1. + 1million

  32. Archit (@architjain07)
    19th March 2016, 7:17

    And Hamilton said Ferrari have got something up their sleeve. Just wondering he was talking more about Mercedes AMG! Could see it clearly on Vettel’s face, the shock after stonker from Hamilton!!

    1. @architjain07 I think you’re a bit too quick to judge. Vettel did one lap that didn’t look like he was giving his best, Hamilton however had two.

      1. Archit (@architjain07)
        20th March 2016, 0:01

        @PorscheF1 I might be a little quick to judge but Vettel in his post-qualifying interview agreed that the Ferrari didn’t have another 0.5 second in it as he pretty much extracted the maximum out of the car in the first run!

  33. The sport created this problem, not one man. Therefore it has to be the sport that fixes it.

    Well done Lewis, who sailed through all 3 sessions to take a convincing pole. Hoping he gets more competition later in the year though.

    I sat through the 2005 USGP, yet I actually stopped watching this. I think that shows how bad this change actually is.

    1. @keeleyobsessed – “I sat through the 2005 USGP, yet I actually stopped watching this. I think that shows how bad this change actually is.”

      That says a lot.

    2. I mean… It’s the sport under the guidance and structure of a lunatic. I think it’s not too late to cut their losses and just revert to the old format by the next race.

      Regarding Lewis, he must be on cloud 9 right now. In his head, he must be the most awesome human being in any sport. He’s been partying in Hollywood, visiting the playgrounds of the rich and famous, taking selfies on bikes, looking incredibly sharp, and additionally, he doesn’t have to waste his time attending driver meetings. He just gets in to Melbourne.. and BOOM.. car is on pole position and he gets to plonk himself out of the window of the safety car and wave to the thousands of fans who believe he is as cool as the bees knees.

      Good on you Lewis. Good on you

      1. Regards Lewis, its hardly difficult. He has by far the best car, especially in qualifying spec. His only competition is an average teammate!

        1. Lol, Nico is hardly average. Lewis I will now call Lewiz for his Wizardry glasses and racing magic.

          His lap was amazing. Only second to 2012 RBR?

          Nico was behind in all sessions. Raiding the wave of 6 consequtive poles… That is now done. Not quite 7 in a row material.

  34. Q2 and Q3 done after a single round of laps and a grid that looks less promising than everyone expected it to.
    Not really a good start to what at-least-sort-of looked-like it could have been a game changer season for F1.

    Is it only my impression or is this quali format actually serving no other purpose than dulling down the midfield? It looked to me like Haas and Manor would have had a little bit more to show if they could get more running done. Same goes for McLaren and Force India. They looked like they could have pushed for a Q3 spot, but it wasn’t really worth it… Absolutely idiotic.

  35. The FOM TV director needs to go. The one bit of drama available was Nico vs Lewis but while that was happening we were looking into garages.

    1. He’d probably been told to focus on the guy in the danger zone as it’ll be really exciting to see them on a hot lap. Unfortunately, the system doesn’t work and most people in the danger zone were in the pits!

  36. If I had paid for a Saturday Grandstand Ticket for that, I would be simply furious.

  37. 6 minutes and 6 seconds left of Q3 and it’s all over. I didn’t have to get up for this but did put off exterminating a bull-ant nest. To be honest, I felt ripped off and wish the bull-ants had received my full attention.

    Can we have a forum vote: This Quali format is pants and Bernie deserves a golden raspberry. Y/N.

  38. No One Better (@)
    19th March 2016, 7:21

    You brought this on yourselves. Just like the double points finale. This ought to teach you not to whine about “everything” and demand epic excitement 24/7. When you do that, clueless bureaucrats will come up with clueless solutions.

    1. @noonebetter But no-one was whiing about qualy!

      TV views were falling regardless of what we were saying and I think Bernie was probably more concerned about that than about what we have to say.

  39. I was expecting this format to be a big mistake, but this time they just set the bar too high: one of the worst ideas ever.

  40. I liked it!l

    …for about half the first session, then the writing was pretty much on the wall. I got up to make breakfast on the first break.
    Now I’ll be taking the dogs for a walk, and on the weekends I don’t walk the dogs in the mornings so as to get a lie in. But seems that saturdays just freed up.

    1. ^ This.

      When Q1 started, it was quite exciting, with everyone jockeying for room on the track. And for a moment, I actually thought this format did have some merit.

      It was downhill from that point on.

  41. I thought this was quite hilarious. Listening to commentating struggling to understand what was going on in the beginning, trying and struggling to find something exciting and positive about it further on, and then admitting defeat in the end, I was entertained and I´ll remember it fondly… if it stays on trying this format once, that is, which doesn´t look too unlikely. It wouldn´t entertain me well for a second time.

    1. @crammond I felt the same, the thing is with the commentator is that sky has put on an hefty stake in F1, anyone involved with sky has to protect their job, so they try to stay positive as ill tempered comments poison the mind’s of light headed spectators.

      1. @peartree I didn´t even see british Sky yet, watched it live on austrian ORF.

        1. UK Sky didn’t bother being positive in the end. Soon as Toto said it was “rubbish” they took the same line as the rest.

  42. This qualifying system needs a small tweek. Reverse the grid – slowest FP3 or race finishers from previous race go out 1st. There is a 10 second count down for each garage to release their cars otherwise you lose you slot.

  43. Think this was bad? Just wait until they fix the 2017 regs.

  44. About qually I’ll only say that the only thing that may be artificial is a simple way to ensure there’s a point in qualifying well and that qualifying’s result is not going to take away from having a race on sunday, if qualifying is going to predetermine the finishing order then there’s no point in having a race. Today most surely had the reversed effect, who would win with it is the one who allowed this scenario to happen.

  45. Actually the first two sessions were OK, there was some semblance of an idea there, you understood what they wanted to do… But Q3 was embarrassing.

  46. Stupid qualifying format.

    And what jumbled grid did we get that will supposedly make races better?
    Except for Red Bull, all teams are lined up 2-2 or separated by one car max.

    Qualifying has always been about that one balls out, fresh tyres, low fuel lap. And to make this one lap, it takes a total of 5 mins. So, no team can actually target their lap completion by this arbitrary 90 seconds timer. And if they do, they automatically compromise themselves for the next 90 second timer because, guess what, they need 300 seconds to do another good lap.

    I hope someone interviews Bernie on live television right now and ask him what he thinks of his own idea now.

  47. John Toad (@)
    19th March 2016, 7:34

    Well the new qualifying format worked completely as planned and gave us a totally different grid for Sunday didn’t it?

    I mean who would have expected two Manor’s to be on the front row?

    What do you mean I’m looking at the graphic upside down.

  48. Joni (@theflyingfinns)
    19th March 2016, 7:35

    Ferrari were the biggest opposition to this new qualifying idea, so they decided to give Bernie the middle finger by not going out in the end :)

    Seriously though, I liked Q1+Q2 (with the midfield being so close to each other, it spices things up)
    but something needs to be done to Q3. More tyres maybe? Not sure even that wouldn’t help…

    + Lewis Hamilton. Forget the talk about his lifestyle and outfit choices, he hasn’t lost a step
    + Toro Rosso looks great, podium in the first half of the season?
    + Ricciardo impressed me, looked like he got EVERYTHING out of that car
    + McLaren better than last year, will be great to see two world champions fighting in the midfield
    + OK debut for Haas, beat Manor (Grosjean pretty easily), could have gotten couple more places?
    – Nico Rosberg. Third year fighting for the title, and still seems to be quite far from Lewis
    – Valtteri Bottas. This is the year he has to show he should be in top teams in the future, that’s not the way to do it
    – Manor. Expected them to be closer to midfield, but looks like they are still the definite backmarkers

    Can only hope for a good start to Nico tomorrow, otherwise Lewis will walk this. I believe there won’t be any rain either…

  49. What kind of people are making the decisions? Not only are they ruining F1 by considering it a show rather that a sport, but these people are simply bad at doing their job.

    The new q-rules with the 90 seconds to be disqualified imply that if the driver in the hot seat is doing a lap to save his butt, the second to last has to also be out, same for the third to last, etc etc until we get to a driver confident enough that at least three of the drivers doing a flying lap will not be able to reach his time (since he more that 2×90 seconds is needed to get from pit to lap time).

    What you get then is a group of drivers, perhaps 4 or 5, which all did a flying lap not to be the one disqualified, and 3 or 4 are still in the game. BUT, all those are also out, since for them to go into the pits, get out and put a lap time would take at least 3×90 seconds. And there is also no use to staying out longer since their tires are old and hence there is no way they can improve.

    The people making these decisions could have predicted this with a simple simulation. Like alonso said, there a mathematically optimum strategy, and while the pressure goes up for the drivers for the show it is horrible. The only way this new format would work is if lap times only stand for 90 seconds, hence every driver would need to stay out and continually put decent lap times in.

    They have managed to spread out the three climaxes of qualifying in the previous format over 3 very long uninteresting periods.

    1. Times only standing for 90s works very well… apart from circuits where the lap time is greater than 90s. Perhaps the times should last for 2*fastest Q3 lap, as this would allow a team to opt for a racing speed pitstop if they chose to?

  50. Im going to try to be positive here, the Toro Rosso car is only .4s behind Raikkonen’s Ferrari, with a 2015 engine. So Im guessing Ferrari isn’t able turn on qualy mode on their engines yet. Let’s hope they can in the next races.

    Also, last year Ferrari qualified behind the Williams in Melbourne if my memory serves me well, so probably this track simply doesn’t suit them.

    And you know what they say, Albert Park isn’t an accurate representation of a typical F1 track. So don’t give up on this season yet guys.

    About the new qualy format, no positives here. Switch back to the old format now please.

    1. Why isn’t just the STR package that is making the difference rather Ferrari not turning their engines on?

  51. Only positive I’m taking from this: Hopefully with Rosberg’s absolute shambles of a first flier in Q3 and him being forced to go out on a new set of SS again thereby forcing Lewis to cover him(didn’t need to anyway) Ferrari have a set of supersofts up on Rosberg(Hamilton came in with an extra set of supersofts and one set down on softs). Hopefully that affects the race somehow.

    1. Hamilton chose more sorts and one less medium

  52. Know what I find most annoying their was 2 Mercedes cars on track fighting for pole and I don’t think they even should any of their laps. I seen more footage of kimi and seb walking down the pittance.

  53. Button (fastest McLaren) was 3 secs slower than Hami last year, and he was 17th.
    Alonso (fastest McLaren) is now 2.3 secs slower than Ham this time around. And he’s 12th.

    It is an improvement. Maybe, in the grand picture, it doesn’t seem a lot, but less we forget, this is a German supergiant we’re talking and competing with. Gaining 0.7 over the winter to them is a great leap forward, about as much as i would’ve hoped for.

    Now we have to see were we stand in race pace. For the first time in ages, i’m optimistic. Bring in Sunday.

    P.S. Oh, and sadly, i couldn’t get up early enough from bed to watch the quali. Can’t rant. :P

    1. It is an improvement. Maybe, in the grand picture, it doesn’t seem a lot, but less we forget, this is a German supergiant we’re talking and competing with. Gaining 0.7 over the winter to them is a great leap forward, about as much as i would’ve hoped for.

      At this rate, by 2020, Mclaren should be fighting for the Champiosnhip hopefully.

      I think it’s another failure to deliver for Mclaren. They said it was possible to claw back 2.5 seconds, and they ended up managing 0.7 seconds. Massive, massive failure for the 2nd year in a row

      1. McLaren definitely still struggling – most of the problem last year was deployment, which probably lost them 1-1.5 secs per lap, so having fixed that, they have actually gone backwards in reality!

        1. mind you, McLaren tend to have better race pace, than qualifying based on last season, so hopefully they can at least score points

        2. That is not true. Pay attention to what is going on. In q2 McLaren was only 1.2 seconds slower than Mercedes. In fact when everyone did on fast lap in q2 McLaren was only 0.2-0.3 tenths slower than Ferrari. In other words mclanren and Ferrari are almost at part. McLaren did not go for a second fast lap instead they decided to get out of the car. Meanwhile Ferrari when for a second fast lap in q2 and improve their times. But when everybody were under the same conditions and same tires and same amount of weight Ferrari were only 0.2-0.3 faster than alonso’s McLaren.

  54. I have a headache, not because i woke up early, but because of what i saw.

  55. The “bright” minds who thought up of this system should be, and I quote John Cleland, “be taken into a dark room and be beaten.”

    1. Hopefully they already have, I could of had a lay in :)

  56. I wonder whether this will signal the end of the strategy group. We’ve just heard a number of men who voted this through telling us how they all knew that it was a bad idea. So why did they vote for it? Either they’re lying, or they’re nothing more than stooges who would vote themselves into the grave if Ecclestone told them to. This is everything that’s wrong with F1 summed up in one event. And when the intention, we have to assume, was to improve the show and get more people watching, we instead start the season with huge negativity from everyone involved. Hardly the appetite whetter you might have hoped for, and a very unsatisfactory climax after all the pre season anticipation. F1 desperately needs a good race tomorrow.

    1. @mazdachris – Like I keep saying, look out for the coming 2017 regs that could make this qualifying fiasco look like much ado about nothing. Same decision makers, unfortunately.

      On the positive side I think the race tomorrow holds some promise. The battle behind Merc and Ferrari will be extremely competitive and hard fought. I still think that Ferrari will be better in race form than qualifying so that will be interesting too.

  57. I enjoyed the session… up until the point that cars in contention went into the pit garages, and ended up being eliminated.

    If they want to keep elimination qualifying, there’s a simple solution: no pit stops. So tyres will need to last longer. Cars will get faster each lap, so all the drivers need to stay out. If you opt to change tyres, your car will then be heavier than the others (as you won’t have burned as much fuel) but you’ll have better tyres, so there’s a strategy call. Better still, force the cars to remain out by erasing the times once the car at the back of the “train” has done two laps. This means that cars have to keep putting in fast laps.

    I was hoping to see the lead cars doing 21 fast laps!

    1. Doesn’t work that way. The only place where this wouldn’t be a complete failure is Monaco, on literally every other circuit the optimum strategy would be to put in fuel for 1 or 2 flying laps and then floor it with fresh tyres and a light car. Then return to the pits. Qualy: done.

  58. As expected this new format was not worth the change (feeling sad for all the people who sacrified their evenings and week-ends to change all the softwares). Hope it get scrapped ASAP.

    On a better note: McLaren’s faster than Haas, Sauber and Renault! I should read less jokes about them. :D
    And Sauber looks closer than ever from the coffin…

  59. Putting the stupid qualifying format aside… P5 for Verstappen!

  60. This was essentially Bernie’s idea was it not?

    1. No, his Idea was reverse top 10 grid.

  61. Sooo… These same group of people… Will now come up to write 2017 rules…

    So plan is… Totally devalue F1, then Mercedes and Ferrari buy it for a few euros… And Bernie retires to living to a tender age of 120.

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