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An about-turn over qualifying from Bernie?

NEWS STORY
20/04/2005

It's understood that Bernie Ecclestone is to meet with team bosses at Imola this weekend in an attempt to scrap the current qualifying format.

The current format - whereby times are aggregated from two sessions held on Saturday and Sunday - came about as a result of the threatened typhoon in Japan last year, when all Saturday's activity was cancelled and qualifying was held on the Sunday morning, before the race.

Since this system worked once, and there was widespread dismay over the format used throughout 2004 - whereby the two qualifying sessions were held back-to-back - it was decided to introduce the new format for 2005.

However, the new format has proved wholly unpopular with drivers, team bosses, fans and, most importantly, TV broadcasters, who are unable to commit so much air-time on Sundays to F1. Consequently, the all-important grid deciding session is rarely broadcast.

Previously, the FIA has told Pitpass that a change to the current format was unlikely until next year since it would require the agreement of all ten teams, who are already in dispute over a number of other issues. However, it would appear that Ecclestone is determined to force the change through, meaning that a new format could be in place as early as mid-season.

What's odd, is that according to Pitpass' highly-placed sources it was Ecclestone who was behind the current format in the first place.

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