Knock­out qual­i­fy­ing will re­main for Bahrain be­fore re­view

Motor Sport News - - Headline News -

For­mula 1’s con­tro­ver­sial new elim­i­na­tion qual­i­fy­ing sys­tem will con­tinue un­al­tered for this week­end’s Bahrain Grand Prix, but will un­dergo a fur­ther re­view fol­low­ing the race as to whether it re­mains for the rest of the sea­son or not.

The new for­mat, which elim­i­nates driv­ers at 90sec­ond in­ter­vals dur­ing all three qual­i­fy­ing ses­sions, was met with sting­ing crit­i­cism dur­ing its first use in Aus­tralia. The for­mat prompted cars to run just once early dur­ing the ses­sion, with teams and driv­ers con­fused by the sys­tem.

Top team bosses and driv­ers called for it to be scrapped im­me­di­ately, but fol­low­ing a meet­ing of F1’s Strat­egy Group last week, the for­mat will be given a sec­ond chance.

Bernie Ec­cle­stone told Au­tosport: “They’re go­ing to do what I pro­posed, which is leave things as they are for this race [in Bahrain]. Af­ter that we will then have a good look and de­cide whether what was done was the right thing to do, the wrong thing to do, does it need mod­i­fy­ing, does it need scrap­ping?

“This was an FIA idea in the first place, so I’ve said to them we’ll sup­port what­ever they think is the right thing to do. But as no­body knows what the right thing to do is, we’ve said we’ll stay where we are and have a look af­ter this race. Then two races in we’ll see, as it was a pro­to­type, what was right or wrong. The teams didn’t un­der­stand what they were do­ing ei­ther, which didn’t help at all.”

The F1 Com­mis­sion has also dis­cussed a hy­brid for­mat, which would in­volve con­tin­u­ing to elim­i­nate cars at timed in­ter­vals dur­ing the first two stages of qual­i­fy­ing, with the fi­nal phase re­vert­ing to the tra­di­tional for­mat.

Driv­ers and fans will have to give the new for­mat an­other chance

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