No change to Bahrain qualifying format


Yet again, the world's most technically advanced sport has shown itself to be woefully lagging when it comes to decision making and self-interest.

Although the teams, under the guidance of circus-master Bernie Ecclestone, couldn't agree quick enough to scrap the new format following its shambolic introduction in Melbourne, a 180-turnaround has seen the format retained for a second attempt.

"The outcome I think is that we are going to stay as we are," Ecclestone told Reuters following a vote by the equally controversial Strategy Group this afternoon. "After Bahrain, we're going to have a look at it."

Although he was initially against it, Ecclestone, who watched the Melbourne session from his London HQ, has seemingly had a change of heart, just days after Pirelli and Force India claimed the new format had not been given a fair chance.

However, it's understood at today's Strategy Group meeting Ecclestone and (FIA president) Jean Todt were against making the change and whilst a suggestion to put forward a recommendation that Q3 revert to the old format, this was not unanimously agreed in time to put before the F1 Commission for the 17:00 (CET) deadline... ironic when you consider that this is a sport that is run to within thousandths of a second.

Many believe that the dilly-dallying, along with yesterday's letter from the GPDA and Ecclestone's response, are all part of a wider game. Indeed, Ecclestone's comment to Reuters that: "We could easily enough change it (qualifying)" but that the voting process "is loaded too much in favour of the wrong people... Mercedes and Ferrari can buy votes", much like the ongoing engine cost saga, is all part of it.

Whatever, the agenda, the sport, its fans and its sponsors are stuck with this dreadful format for a second race weekend.

Article from Pitpass (

Published: 24/03/2016
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