MANAMA: Formula One chiefs will hold further crisis talks to try and resolve the problems with the panned ‘progressive elimination’ qualifying format with former world champion Sebastian Vettel comparing the bosses to ice cream salesmen.
The new system, which ended in fiasco without a car on the track at the season opening Australian Grand Prix, was widely slammed again on Thursday ahead of tomorrow’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
“I am as disappointed as probably anyone that I know that we didn’t go back,” said four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari, referring to the sport’s failure to ditch the system and revert to the previous format.
Vettel and other top drivers were unified in calling for changes in the sport’s decision-making processes and management.
Hamilton up for the fight
He was notably disappointed that the teams’ decision to dump a system that failed was not upheld. “Put it this way,” he said. “If you sell vanilla ice cream, but everybody is asking for chocolate ice cream, the next day you expect to sell chocolate ice cream, but instead you just sell vanilla ice cream again.”
He continued: “Usually you do what your clients would like you to do, but you are not really doing the job if you do the exact opposite. It’s something that we can’t be proud of. If everybody is against something and you still decide for it, something is not right.”
Vettel and others believe the qualifying fiasco highlights all that is wrong in F1, as the drivers’ declared in an open letter last week. “We didn’t give any proposals,” he added. “We made it clear that there’s something that’s not right and something has to change.”
Vettel tops testing on day four
Rosberg fastest in opening Bahrain practice
Nico Rosberg topped the times ahead of his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in yesterday’s opening free practice for tomorrow’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
On a hot, dry day at the Bahrain International Circuit, the 30-year-old German, who leads the embryonic title race after winning the season-opener in Australia, was in charge throughout the 90-minute session.
Rosberg delivered a best lap in one minute and 32.294 with 20 minutes remaining, having been on top since his first flying lap in the opening quarter hour.
Formula One testing: Raikkonen fastest as Mercedes hold back
Defending world champion Hamilton was second-quickest, 0.5 seconds adrift of his teammate and rival, but 1.3 seconds ahead of third-placed Finn Kimi Raikkonen in the leading Ferrari.
Australian Daniel Ricciardo clocked the fourth best time of the opening session in his Red Bull ahead of teammate Daniil Kvyat and a determined Nico Hulkenberg of Force India.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 2nd, 2016.
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