That this weekend’s race is in Australia makes it a bit impractical for us Europeans to watch it live. I wasn’t really planning to get up at 7 in the morning for the qualifying session, but when the Heir to the Throne decided that a quarter past six was a great time to start the day, I decided to make the most of it and to watch how the new qualifying rules would work in practice. I was, after all, pretty sure they would lead to some thrilling racing during the qualifying sessions.
Boy, was I wrong!
Q1 started out like we’d all hoped, with a lot of cars on track from the beginning. But did it ever become more exciting than qualifying used to be with the old rules? No. If anything, it turned out even more anti-climatic. With over five minutes left of the last qualifying session, several of the drivers left their cars in the pits because it simply wasn’t anything to gain from going out again. If you ask me, that’s a massive insult to the spectators on the track who paid good money to watch the qualifying sessions. It only lasts for an hour, including breaks between the sessions, and to deprive the spectators of over a third of the final, 14 minutes long session is a shame. As a driver, you could at least sit in your car in the pit box and pretend you give a shit.