Jenson Button says “anything is better” than Formula 1’s current elimination-style qualifying format, as a new aggregate system is investigated.
Introduced last month in Australia, the new system has drawn criticism from fans, teams and drivers alike, which led to FIA president Jean Todt and F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone meeting the teams in Bahrain to discuss alternatives.
A new proposal was tabled that follows the format used in 2015, but with drivers completing two timed laps in each of the three periods, and with the aggregate taken.
“If it’s an aggregate system, I’ll give it a go,” said McLaren’s Button. “That’s all you can say. It’s better than this one. Anything is better than this one. Drivers driving around with one eye closed would be better than this one.
“I look forward to change, and that’s what’s hopefully coming.”
Romain Grosjean is not in favour of the aggregate system, as he feels it will dilute the challenge.
“I’m not a huge fan,” said the Haas driver. “I spoke with Jenson and said that I don’t mind, but that qualifying – when you’re in Q3 and have two sets of tyres – you want to go for the ultimate laptime and, with this, you cannot really push.
“In the past, you are doing a good laptime with the first set and then you are putting the new set, which you have to give back so you don’t care about flat-spots or whatever, and it was ‘come on, let’s go for it’ give it everything, balls on the table.
“Now, if you have to put two times together, you have to be more consistent, the fastest laptime might not be the guy that starts on pole, so who is the lap record holder?
“Every driver likes last year’s qualifying and that’s what we want.”
The F1 teams have begun an evaluation process of the aggregate system and will deliver their verdict via a teleconference on Thursday.
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