Williams team principal James Vowles has hit out at the short-notice changes to the Qatar sprint shootout, claiming the adjustments made it trickier for all F1 teams.
Changes were made to Saturday’s schedule after numerous problems were faced with track limits and teams battling tyre issues, with the addition of a 10-minute familiarisation practice session to help drivers and teams accommodate themselves to the layout changes.
Rather than improving the situation, though, the sprint shootout only served to highlight further problems with track limits, insists Vowles.
Both Williams drivers struggled and failed to make it out of the first shootout session on a frustrating day for the Grove-based outfit.
Logan Sargeant had his final flying lap time deleted, before team-mate Alexander Albon also fell foul and backed out. Following this double elimination, team principal James Vowles spoke to Sky Sports F1 about the difficulties they faced.
He said: "Difficult session for us. I’m not sure it’s so much the wind, that it’s difficult to see where the new track limits are.
"You’ll see a lot of deleted times there, they were doing their best with the revised elements and things. I think that caused a bit of trouble."
The struggles across the grid were clear to see at the start of the shootout, with Vowles believing it proved just too much for the drivers to overcome.
"I think time would’ve helped but it’s also [that] we sent them out, all teams did, but limited in the amount of tyres we have available, we sent them out on a used soft. Really had no grip at all," he added.
"In fact, hopefully you would’ve heard a lot of people complaining about the front left being gone. To the medium which suddenly had oodles of grip by comparison. I think it’s just too big a jump for the drivers to experience in that circumstance."
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.