Qualifying flop shows F1 has lost direction - Niki Lauda

Lars Baron/Getty Images

Niki Lauda says the shortcomings of F1's new qualifying formula, which debuted on Saturday at the Australian Grand Prix, is proof the sport has lost its way.

A new qualifying format was rushed through ahead of this weekend's race in Melbourne, but resulted in a confusing and anti-climactic qualifying hour that failed to deliver its promise of a mixed up grid. Lauda says the flop is proof F1's governance is not working.

"We have lost all direction and now it is very simple," he told Sky Sports. "Normally Bernie and the teams stick together because we have contacts with each other to run the business of the sport, but it has changed because Bernie and Jean Todt try to decide things beforehand together and if the teams don't like it they can vote together against us or the other way round. The whole system is blocked where everybody is defending his own position and nobody is thinking globally what is best for the sport and therefore we make the wrong decisions."

Lauda said concerns raised by team members were not given enough consideration.

"It was obvious that when we took that decision, nobody really thought about the details. But when the team managers got together later with Charlie, they realised there might be some up and downs. The funny thing was that once it was voted through then Ferrari was against it and when the team managers complained that it might not work that well it was voted again and everybody was for it.

"This is really wrong and I fully agree we should change it quickly. We should get everybody here together and have a quick discussion about making changes for Bahrain. People can make mistakes and this was a big mistake."