Wolff expects elimination qualifying to fail again

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff fears elimination qualifying will produce yet another disappointing show at the Bahrain Grand Prix this weekend.

The controversial new qualifying format will remain in place this weekend after teams and the sport’s bosses failed to reach a unanimous agreement to revamp the procedure.

This comes after teams voted to scrap the system less than 24 hours after its embarrassing debut at the Australian Grand Prix.

Universally slammed by the industry, Wolff, who been particularly against the concept, believes a second chance for the elimination format will produce the same results.

“This weekend we will see the new qualifying system continue after a less-than-impressive debut in Australia,” said Wolff.

“The teams were unanimous in their opinion of it on Sunday in Melbourne and it wasn’t a positive opinion.

“We haven’t found the right format with this change and it’s hard to see how it might be more entertaining for the fans this weekend in Bahrain.

“The sport is under scrutiny on this matter, so careful thought is required in order to make coordinated, intelligent steps forward from the position we are in right now.

“The fans want close racing, in a format they can understand, between the best drivers and cars in the world – in that order.

“We should be capable of delivering that to the people in the grandstands and watching around the world.”

Meanwhile, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has offered his opinion following the recent move by the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association for F1 reform.

The reigning world champion has also hinted that the sport’s 2017 regulations to increase speed via more downforce is not the correct way the sport should be heading.

“There’s been a lot of talk about the rules and whether the drivers should be more involved in decision making,” said Hamilton.

“It’s not our job to come up with ideas and we all have different opinions anyway.

“But personally, I think we need more mechanical grip and less aero wake coming off the back of the cars so we can get close and overtake.

“Give us five seconds’ worth of lap time from aero and nothing will change – we’ll just be driving faster.

“I speak as somebody who loves this sport and loves racing. I don’t have all the answers – but I know that the changes we’re making won’t deliver better racing.”

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