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Are we all losing our minds?

NEWS STORY
21/05/2005

The question has to be asked, are we all losing our minds?

As F1 prepares for yet another change to the qualifying format, the umpteenth in just a few years, both FIA President, Max Mosley and F1 supremo, Bernie Ecclestone, appear to be saying what the rest of us had been saying for some time... it wasn't broken, so why fix it.

When the 2005 qualifying format was first announced, Pitpass was one of the first to lambaste the idea, claiming (quite correctly) that it would be unpopular with teams, drivers, fans and broadcasters. Most broadcasters of F1 - who appear to broadcast F1 grudgingly anyway - were never to devote so much of Sunday to the sport.

However, Bernie got his way and the new format was pushed through, with Max, and several team bosses telling us how good it was going to be.

Well it wasn't. It has turned out to be an unmitigated disaster, and once again F1 - the most hi-tech of sports, a sport where success is measured in thousandths of a second - has shown that in many ways it is still in the dark ages.

Thinking back to what Pitpass predicted and listening now to both Max and Bernie, one really has to question whether we are going insane:

"It's very important to have the grid sorted out on Saturday," says Max "It irritates the public not knowing who is on pole.

"If you follow a particular driver and you know he's going to be on pole you might change your plans for Sunday," he added. "But on the other hand if you know he's at the back of the grid you might go and do something completely different. People need to know, it's no good telling them two hours beforehand."

Exactly, and the Sunday qualifying made Saturday's session totally redundant, in the eyes of everyone.

Previously, all the TV broadcasters and newspapers would advise as to who had claimed pole on Saturday, thereby wetting the appetites of race fans, casual fans and 'man down the pub'. The new format - pushed through by Bernie - destroyed that.

Now, talking to reporters in Monaco, Bernie has admitted to not liking the current format and longs for a return to the old-fashioned 'free for all'.

"I hope that it will change again from 2006," he told Gazzetta dello Sport. "The best was when everybody was on the track together, one did a time and the others went out to try and beat it."

Arrrrrrgh!!!!

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