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Team bosses to discuss qualifying fiasco

NEWS STORY
19/03/2016

Whilst millions around the world watched today's qualifying session on their TVs in horror, only one has the power to change things, Mr Bernard Charles Ecclestone.

The F1 supremo isn't attending this weekend's season opener and instead opted to watch the session from the comfort of his Knightsbridge office. He was not impressed.

Consequently he has called on team bosses to meet ahead of tomorrow's race to discuss the matter with the aim of resolving things in time for Bahrain in two weeks.

"If we can get them to agree to change and we agree to change, we can change it," he told Reuters. "Or if we get all the teams to agree with us, we can change it."

The Briton was keen to deny responsibility for the format, widely seen as farcical and anti-climactic.

This idea was the FIA's," he said. "I had another idea. My idea was to leave the old qualifying alone and whoever won the previous race, or finished second or third down to 10th, would have time added to their qualifying time. You just add the times on.

"Qualifying would stay as it was in the old days," he continued, "which is what I'd like, and it would have changed the grid completely so at least for two thirds of the race you'd get a lot of racing."

Whilst fans took to social media to vent their frustration and anger, drivers and team bosses were equally forthcoming.

"I don't understand why all the people are so surprised," said Sebastian Vettel. "It was going to happen, there were plenty of engineers and other brains that, basically, had sort of predicted what would happen.

"It was crazy at the beginning with all the cars lining up at the end of the pitlane, and everybody trying to set a lap time to avoid the risk of being eliminated. And then it was very quiet, same in Q2 and equally in Q3. So I don't think that it is more exciting, it's definitely the wrong way to go."

"This new system did not work and really we should apologise to the fans," added Christian Horner. "We have not put on a show for them at all today which is a shame, especially for the first race of the season.

"It's not good for qualifying to be done with five minutes to go, drivers and cars need to be out on track fighting for pole up until the last second. We should accept that we tried it, it didn't work and the important thing is we learn from it and address it quickly. Qualifying needs to build up to a crescendo, not what we saw here today."

In the face of such widespread derision of the new format, providing the teams agree unanimously, a letter can then be presented to the FIA and the necessary changes could be in place by Bahrain.

It is currently thought that either the old format is revived or a combination of the old and new, which would mean Q1 and Q2 run to the new elimination format and Q3 to the old format. Then again, Ecclestone might well opt to push his agenda.

"Some of the promoters expressed a wish for a better Saturday show," Toto Wolff told reporters, referring to the decision to change the format in the first place. "Two proposals were on the table, one was reverse grid and the other was that one. We voted for the least worst.

"You can't say no, no, no, all the time," he admitted, "so this time we felt maybe it's worth exploring and see how it is and the conclusion is it is not good.

"There are two schools of thought. We could return to what we had before. If we move to a different format, we should think carefully about what it should be."

Check out our Saturday gallery, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by jackdino1, 19/03/2016 22:41

"As an Australian ,paying good money to attend F1 GP's, why are we the guinea pigs being subject to an increasingly underwhelming experience through no fault of our own!!! Do I get my money back? Hell No, you idiot. Last year we sat through the hybrid engine fiasco, this year they are louder, still sound like crap, and then we sat through, what would normally be the highlight of the weekend, a shambolic 55 minutes of so called qualifying, that saw Ferrari wave the white flag and gift Mercedes the front row. The commentary whipping up excitement to tell everyone that would listen that we were about to witness what we came to see, a shoot out between ferrari and mercedes!!!!!! Then Ferrari waved the white flag. I want my money back and will be corresponding with the Grand Prix corporation on that, this is Bulls..t and wont bother going in to see another borefest hybrid inspired so called Grand Prix."

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2. Posted by Yeyox02, 19/03/2016 21:02

"After seeing the "new" qualifying fiasco one can not be moderated and adhere to this site´s posting rules and etiquette, anyway I am going to post a small comment. FIA & F1 are full of i----s."

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3. Posted by Tweek, 19/03/2016 18:51

"Go back to the old qualifying format. Every time someone wins a Grand Prix the F.I.A. Puts a 50 lb weight in the car which stays till next season. Balance of performance restored !
...... Ohh, and one more thing...... Whoever proposed the qualifying format for Melbourne must stand on the start finish line at the next race and apologize live on the world feed. "

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4. Posted by 4SQUARETYRES, 19/03/2016 17:08

"I'm going back to watching Nascar somehow drive slow and turn left for 5 hrs. is more appealing now. "

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5. Posted by Ro, 19/03/2016 16:29

"To say it was a farce is an understatement! What I dont understand is that everyone wants to give the drivers more opportunities to drive the cars and not rely on the pit-lane engineers. All this new qualifying has done is to give the engineers more control. You may as well scrap the drivers championship and just have the constructors, perhaps, rename it to "Pit-lane Engineering Championship". The end of qually was a joke, not a car in sight, I bet a lot of people who paid to get in and watch the event now feel robbed."

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6. Posted by psem, 19/03/2016 14:48

"A farce indeed. My understanding is a large percentage of ad revenue comes from the qualifying program.
That said, I'd suggest a protest by boycotting the quali show...your not missing anything anyway since we all know what the result wil be. "

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7. Posted by Sinnr, 19/03/2016 13:26

"What a farce; I was waiting for the excitement to start and am still waiting. I don't know what their is to discuss, it was a miserable failure and should be tossed on the scrap heap immediately. "

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8. Posted by MustangGTCS, 19/03/2016 12:55

"Qualifying was about as exciting as watching my grass grow. Three minutes left in Q3 and no cars on the track. "

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