Elim­i­na­tion qual­i­fy­ing gets last-minute re­prieve

F1 Racing (UK) - - INSIDER -

Con­tro­ver­sial qual­i­fy­ing sys­tem es­capes the axe as For­mula 1’s stake­hold­ers fail to reach agree­ment on a bet­ter so­lu­tion

For­mula 1 re­tained the new elim­i­na­tion qual­i­fy­ing for­mat for the Bahrain Grand Prix, in spite of teams agree­ing that it should be dropped im­me­di­ately af­ter it mis­fired at the sea­son opener in Aus­tralia. Fun­da­men­tally in­com­pat­i­ble with the cur­rent tyre reg­u­la­tions, the sys­tem bamboozled fans and com­men­ta­tors – and left the track empty in the fi­nal mo­ments of Q3 as the top driv­ers saved tyres for the race.

Team bosses and sport­ing di­rec­tors held an emer­gency meet­ing on race-day morn­ing in Mel­bourne and agreed unan­i­mously to re­vert to the pre­vi­ous sys­tem. But that de­ci­sion car­ried no leg­isla­tive weight, and F1’s Strat­egy Group – which in­cludes other stake­hold­ers be­sides team rep­re­sen­ta­tives – sub­se­quently voted to per­se­vere with the elim­i­na­tion for­mat and eval­u­ate it af­ter Bahrain.

The new for­mat was in­tro­duced be­cause Ec­cle­stone told the teams he in­sisted on chang­ing qual­i­fy­ing to spice up races. He gave them two choices: the elim­i­na­tion for­mat, and a

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