Vettel blasts ‘circus’ aggregate F1 qualifying

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Sebastian Vettel likens the new F1 qualifying proposal that features aggregate times to “going to the circus”, with the Ferrari ace calling the idea “s***”.

The sport’s key stakeholders are scheduled to vote on the qualifying format for the rest of the season this Thursday after the infamous elimination-style system failed to deliver again at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

F1 chiefs already gathered ahead of the race last Sunday but failed to reach an agreement, this despite teams all agreeing to revert to the 2015 format. Following the 90-minute meeting, it quickly appeared that the FIA and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone were against a return to the old system and instead put forward the aggregate times solution.

Asked about the idea by Sky, Vettel did not beat around the bush to express his clear disapproval.

“It's time to go to the circus. It's a good idea if you want random things to happen, but Formula One should be about racing. It's a s*** idea.”

The concept of aggregate times was last seen in F1 qualifying in the early rounds of the 2005 season when the grid was defined by two one-lap runs – one on Saturday afternoon, the second on Sunday morning.

The format was scrapped after six grand prix weekends and replaced by one single-lap attempt on race fuel and tyres. The well-liked Q1, Q2, Q3 system was then introduced in 2006.

As one of the Directors in the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GPDA), Vettel recently signed an open letter that calls for a major reform of F1’s “ill-structured” and “obsolete” governance.

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