Pierre Gasly said that the lack of running in Q2 on Saturday afternoon shows that the penalty system needs changing.
Only the ten men that went through to Q3 set a time in the second part of qualifying, with the bottom five all staying in the garage.
“For me the main thing is you need to find a solution to give different penalties,” Gasly said.
“When you look at the qualifying where in Q2 all five cars from 11th to 15th didn’t run I think that looks really silly.
“The regulation at the moment doesn’t push the team to run the car in qualifying.”
With the other midfield runners all starting on the hypersoft tyres, Renault chose to start in P11 and P12 to have the choice of what tyre to start on.
Only one of the four midfield runners who started in the top ten in Singapore managed to finish in the points, as those outside the top ten were able to jump them thanks to strategy.
Gasly suspected that they doubted if they would be quick enough to get into Q3 in Russia, but also believed it was strategic.
“I think they knew that they didn’t have the pace and they prefer to start on ultra-soft or soft tyres compared to the hyper which will be pretty tough to keep alive in the race,” the Toro Rosso man said.
“They knew that without driving they will start 11th and 12th because we will not run anyway in Q2.
“Let’s see if it pays off – if they finish fifth and sixth tomorrow it was the right choice.”