Schumacher: Qualifying solution should have been found

Michael Schumacher has criticised Formula One’s team bosses for failing to agree to a one-off change to the qualifying system for this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix.

The sport’s drivers had lobbied FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting to split the first segment of qualifying into two separate 10-minute sessions. Under these proposals one half of the field would run in the first session and the other half in the second, in a bid to limit traffic and cause accidents.

However, an agreement could not be reached by Formula One’s team over the change of format, resulting in the seven-times champion criticising those who wished to benefit from the inevitable problems created by the tight and twisty street circuit.

“Some team bosses felt they would rather have the chaos and maybe take the profit from this than to have a reasonable, clean qualifying,” Schumacher told Autosport.

“So that’s what it is, that’s what we have to deal with, and let’s see who has to suffer or not.”

Although Schumacher has previously been forced to qualify with more than 24 cars on track, this was under the old qualifying system where the sessions lasted longer and there was less chance of drivers taking to the road all at once.

“In a way the field is probably a bit tighter [now] because in the past it was normal to have five or six seconds difference between the first and the last cars, and staggering backwards there were bigger gaps,” he said.

“Now you have more cars in close competition in terms of laptimes, but when you have 24 cars on a track which is 3.6km, it comes down to less than 200 metres between each car if all the cars are on track. That’s not much for qualifying, so it’s going to be interesting for Q1.”