Horner demands immediate change to controversial F1 qualifying format


Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has demanded Formula One scrap the new qualifying format after a controversial debut at the Australian Grand Prix. 

The new format drew an abundance of criticism from team officials and drivers after being employed for the first time as Lewis Hamilton claimed pole ahead of Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in Melbourne on Saturday. 

The elimination-style system sees the slowest car knocked out in 90-second intervals towards the end of each segment, and confusion reigned around the paddock with several teams caught out with their timing, seeing a number of drivers eliminated while in the pits or halfway through flying laps. 

While the end of Q1 provided a frantic finish, the other two sessions saw grid places already confirmed with well over a minute and a half left in both. 

Red Bull were one of the teams to suffer under the new format, with Daniil Kvyat eliminated in 18th while Daniel Ricciardo could only manage eighth best. 

"First of all, we should apologise," Horner said. "The intentions were well meant but we have got it wrong. 

"We need to address it immediately. What we saw today wasn't good for Formula 1."

Hamilton claimed a 50th career pole with a time of one minute, 23.837 seconds, but chief Toto Wolff also slammed the new format.

"I'm the first one to say we shouldn't be speaking badly on TV about some of the things but I think the new qualifying format is pretty rubbish," he told Sky Sports.

Asked if the qualifying format could be changed for the Bahrain Grand Prix, Wolff added: "I think we need to discuss that. Everybody is trying to do their best to improve the show and sometimes when we find out we haven't improved the show, we have made it worse, we need to sit down and say 'what can be done, can we come back'.

"I think that discussion is going to take place."