Hamilton dismisses new qualifying format


"Be afraid, be very afraid", was the tagline for the 1986 movie The Fly - a remake of the 1958 classic - which saw Jeff Goldblum in the role of Seth Brundle (no relation), whose experiments with matter transportation go terribly wrong.

However, it might well be the thought going through countless minds this week as Mercedes completes hundreds of laps without missing a beat, introduces radical new parts, swaps its drivers around in order to keep them fresh and reveals that it will stick with the medium compounds all week and not try the softer rubber until the final test.

The confidence is frightening.

Meanwhile, as fans, wary of another season of Mercedes domination, consider other things to do with their weekends, the sport, in its infinite wisdom, has come up with a number of ideas that - we are told - will put new life into the sport.

Other than a 'driver of the day award' that will already have the trolls salivating, the sport is to get yet another qualifying format, a high octane version of 'pass the parcel'.

Naturally, most fans aren't happy, then again, neither are the drivers.

"I don't know if I like it or not," said Felipe Massa. "I need to have a little bit of time to sit down and understand the rules, understand the change.

"The only thing I understand is that they want to create some chaos, and this will happen for sure," he added.

"I don't know how much it's going to change," added Daniel Ricciardo. "It might put a little bit more pressure on us to execute the lap early in the session because after five minutes or something they're going to start ticking them off."

Ignoring the fact that for the most part the new format will still see the fastest cars start from the front, once again, F1's powers that be determine what the fans will like without consulting them.

Then again, as is so often the case, those at the coal face, the drivers, were also left out of the talks.

"I don't agree with the changes that have been made over the years and I think the drivers should be consulted more," Lewis Hamilton told reporters in the wake of the FIA's statement.

"We do know what doesn't feel good and what to improve," he continued. "Some of these drivers have been in the cars for ten, fifteen years and been through all these different rule changes and know which ones work and which ones don't. In terms of regulation changes, it is something we are not really much part of but those that have been implemented just now are nothing to do with us.

"I don't feel like it is going to change much," he said of the new qualifying format. "I hope it does, and surprises us, but generally the format is the same."

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Published: 25/02/2016
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