“We have to look at a new for­mat”

Bosses to vote on a new ag­gre­gate sys­tem af­ter fur­ther woe in Bahrain

Motor Sport News - - Headline News - By Rob Lad­brook Photos: LAT

For­mula 1 bosses have ruled out the pos­si­bil­ity of re­vert­ing back to the sport’s tra­di­tional qual­i­fy­ing for­mat, de­spite fail­ing to agree on a way for­ward af­ter a sec­ond fail­ure of the knock­out sys­tem in Bahrain.

The con­tro­ver­sial qual­i­fy­ing for­mat at­tracted yet more crit­i­cism at Sakhir af­ter cars opted not to re­take the cir­cuit and at­tempt to im­prove their times to­wards the end of the three sec­tions of the ses­sion.

Wil­liams ad­mit­ted to send­ing Felipe Massa and Valt­teri Bot­tas back out late in Q2 un­nec­es­sar­ily in an ef­fort to put on a show for spec­ta­tors.

Teams and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from For­mula One Man­age­ment held more meet­ings in the pad­dock on Sun­day in an at­tempt to work out a way for­ward with the for­mat, but all par­ties were un­able to agree on a way for­ward.

MN un­der­stands that the ma­jor­ity of teams were in favour of re­vert­ing back to the old qual­i­fy­ing for­mat, but FIA pres­i­dent Jean Todt and Bernie Ec­cle­stone ve­toed it.

While a move to a hy­brid for­mat was also sug­gested – with Q1 and Q2 re­tain­ing the knock­out el­e­ment and Q3 go­ing back to the 2015 style – teams will vote on an ag­gre­gate time sys­tem later as a pos­si­ble so­lu­tion.

The new sys­tem in­volves driv­ers set­ting two fly­ing laps in each qual­i­fy­ing seg­ment, with the ag­gre­gate time of the two count­ing. A sim­i­lar for­mat is al­ready used in the FIA World En­durance Cham­pi­onship.

F1 teams will eval­u­ate the pro­posal with a tele­con­fer­ence due to­mor­row [Thurs­day] to de­liver a de­ci­sion of whether or not it can be used in China in a week’s time.

Red Bull Rac­ing head Chris­tian Horner said: “It’s a com­pro­mise and some­thing we have to look at. No one likes the cur­rent sys­tem, so it is a step in the right di­rec­tion.

“It has el­e­ments of the 2015 sys­tem, which is what teams pre­fer, but with the ad­di­tion of each driver need­ing to do two laps.”

Re­gard­less of the so­lu­tion, Mercedes head Toto Wolff said the cur­rent sys­tem has to be dropped: “It’s dif­fi­cult to fol­low and doesn’t mix the field up enough.

“We’re not in a po­si­tion any­more, af­ter chang­ing twice, to ex­per­i­ment for Shang­hai. We would look like fools. Maybe there is a dif­fer­ent for­mat that could be in­ter­est­ing, but we have to have all the data and make sure it is struc­tured cor­rectly.”

Qual­i­fy­ing has had empty cir­cuits

Horner: in favour

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