Reserve criticism over new qualifying - Williams

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Claire Williams says those opposed to the new qualifying format should reserve criticism until it has been introduced in Australia.

The World Motor Sport Council [WMSC] voted through the original plan for qualifying which will see elimination of drivers at 90-second intervals throughout all three sessions, rather than a compromise proposal which was suggested earlier this week.

The Williams deputy team principal was part of the Strategy Group meeting in Geneva last week which saw the new format first approved, and she feels the criticism since has been premature.

Asked if the new qualifying format has been voted through by the WMSC, Williams replied: "It has been.

"The Strategy Group voted it through, on which I obviously sit and I voted for it. I think it’s really important to remember the whole purpose of looking at qualifying was to try and shake up the grid to go into the race and make races a little bit more exciting.

"I think it’s too early to judge. I would like to get to Melbourne, see how it plays out, and then we’ll comment upon it. But I think the objective and the reasons why we have looked at it and changed it are well meaning, and I think we should reserve criticism until we see play out."

And Williams admits it is concerning to have so many drivers speaking out against the new qualifying format this week.

"Yes, because they’re the big players in this, so of course you’d want to come up with a new regulation and have it come out positively.

"I think we see a lot of that in Formula One, don’t we. People immediately focus on the negative before thinking let’s not criticise and see it play out. If it doesn’t work then fine, we’ve tried. I think we have to remember that all we’re trying to do is make this sport more exciting which is what everyone wants."

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