Sebastian Vettel: F1 lacks leadership but is not broke

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Sebastian Vettel thinks the uncertainty over qualifying proves Formula One lacks leadership but insists the sport is still "doing fine" recent despite criticism.

The uncertainty over the qualifying format for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in two weeks has led to criticism, with Fernando Alonso saying the delay made him "sad" for the sport. Last week Lewis Hamilton complained Formula One is going in the wrong direction after the proposed regulation changes for 2017 were revealed.

The new regulations and qualifying changes were agreed by the F1 Commission and the Strategy Group. Both are examples of how the power to make decisions has shifted away from Bernie Ecclestone and the FIA and more towards the teams and manufacturers.

Vettel thinks there is a case to be made that the timing of the qualifying change and the ensuing confusion over its implementation shows F1 currently lacks strong leadership.

Asked if uncertainty over qualifying proved F1 was broken, Vettel replied: "I don't think it's broken. If you measure the races and, maybe it's difficult to, the show, I think Formula One is doing fine. In the background, the decisions lately and so on, it's fair to say it is lacking leadership. It's a little bit chaotic if a couple of weeks before the season you start to reinvent certain rules and formats of qualifying, as has been discussed in the last couple of weeks."

Vettel thinks the changes to qualifying damage the DNA which has always existed in Formula One and open wheel racing.

"I'm personally not a fan of the new qualifying and I think speaking on behalf of all the drivers, no driver is. We don't get what's wrong with the old qualifying and why they had to change it. I think it's important the sport remains a sport and I can see the excitement for some people with the introduction of the element of randomness, but I think it's important for the sport to remain a sport so that in the end the fastest driver comes out on top with the strongest team.

"That has been in the DNA of the sport forever, as far as I can remember, starting from karting. Trying to change that in such an extreme manner is the wrong way to go and creates chaos, creates criticism amongst us, the drivers, and amongst the fans. So in that regard I think it's fair to say it lacks leadership."