F1 QUAL­I­FY­ING IS FI­NALLY SORTED OUT

F1 re­verts to 2015 for­mat af­ter teams unite and de­mand FIA change

Motor Sport News - - Headline News - By Rob Lad­brook

For­mula 1 will re­vert to last year’s qual­i­fy­ing sys­tem from this week­end’s Chi­nese Grand Prix on­wards, but the sport’s stake­hold­ers in­sist new for­mats will be looked at again for 2017.

FIA pres­i­dent Jean Todt and F1 tsar Bernie Ec­cle­stone last week sub­mit­ted a pro­posal for the rein­tro­duc­tion of the 2015 qual­i­fy­ing for­mat fol­low­ing a united stance from teams.

All 11 cur­rent teams wrote a let­ter to Ec­cle­stone, Todt and com­mer­cial rights holder CVC Cap­i­tal Part­ners last week, de­mand­ing the new elim­i­na­tion qual­i­fy­ing for­mat be binned af­ter dire show­ings in both Aus­tralia and Bahrain.

In the face of pres­sure from teams and driv­ers, Todt and Ec­cle­stone is­sued a state­ment con­firm­ing they would back the move to re­in­state the tra­di­tional Satur­day for­mat. Teams have also sug­gested that the race week­end for­mat should be looked at for 2017.

The state­ment said: “At the unan­i­mous re­quest of the teams in a let­ter re­ceived to­day, Jean Todt, pres­i­dent of the FIA, and Bernie Ec­cle­stone, com­mer­cial rights holder rep­re­sen­ta­tive, ac­cepted, in the in­ter­ests of the Cham­pi­onship, to sub­mit a pro­posal to the F1 Com­mis­sion and World Mo­tor Sport Coun­cil to re­vert to the qual­i­fy­ing for­mat in force in 2015.

“This pro­posal, if ap­proved by the F1 gov­ern­ing bod­ies, will take ef­fect as from the Chi­nese Grand Prix and will ap­ply for the rest of the sea­son.

“Jean Todt and Bernie Ec­cle­stone wel­comed the idea put for­ward by the teams to have a global as­sess­ment of the for­mat of the week­end for 2017.”

Speak­ing to MN’S sis­ter pub­li­ca­tion Au­tosport, Ec­cle­stone said: “Peo­ple seem to for­get what we are try­ing to do, which is mud­dle the grid up a lit­tle bit be­cause what we have seen doesn’t make for much ex­cite­ment.

“Lewis [Hamil­ton] has helped us a bit this sea­son by not mak­ing good starts and hav­ing to come through the field, and Fer­rari fi­nally seems to have got its act to­gether, so maybe things will change.

“Un­less we can get every­body on board with re­gard to a new for­mat then we are not go­ing to find an an­swer. It’s as sim­ple as that.”

Ec­cle­stone: for­mat un­der re­view for ’17

Pho­tos: LAT

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