New F1 qualifying was 'crap', says Ecclestone


Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone believes the new qualifying format debuted at the Australian Grand Prix is "pretty crap". 

The restructured format, which sees drivers eliminated at 90-second intervals during each of the three sessions, drew an abundance of criticism after a failed introduction at Albert Park. 

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton managed to claim a 50th career pole but several teams elected to save tyres, meaning there was a lack of action out on the track in the final stages. 

Ecclestone did not travel to Melbourne for the season-opener but shared his opinion after watching qualifying on TV. 

"I watched it, but I have to say I wasn't enthusiastic about it from day one," Ecclestone told Autosport.

"It was pretty crap. But this is what we've got, until we can change it.

"The only thing about this [format] is that the quick guys could have run off the road, or done anything a little bit silly, and then you would get a mixed-up grid, which is what we wanted.

"It just happens that Mercedes are still very, very good."

Nico Rosberg, who qualified second fastest behind his team-mate, said race organisers should revert back to the old qualifying format, though Ecclestone believes the outcome would remain the same.

"If we go back to the old system, I tell you what would happen: Mercedes would be first and second," the 85-year-old said.

"What I don't want to see is where you and I could predict how the grid is going to be for the start of a race, and how that race is going to finish.

"You and I could sell everything we've got and put our money on Hamilton winning. It's not what the public want.

"If you are a fan and you are on the way to a race we should be discussing whether or not Hamilton has to push, whether the Ferraris are quick, or maybe somebody else comes through, but they can't do that any more.

"That's what the problem is."