Aggregate qualifying format proposed for F1, teams to evaluate

Formula 1 is considering a new 'aggregate' qualifying system it hopes can be in place for the next grand prix in China

Aggregate qualifying format proposed for F1, teams to evaluate

The idea comes following 90 minutes of talks in the Sakhir paddock ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix between FIA president Jean Todt, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, team representatives and Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery.

The F1 teams are to now carry out an evaluation process of the system before delivering their verdict via a teleconference meeting scheduled for Thursday.

The proposal follows the format of the 2015 qualifying system, but with drivers carrying out two timed laps in each of the three periods, and with the aggregate taken.

"It's a compromise, and something now we all have to go away and have a look at," said Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.

"No one likes the current system, so this idea is a step in the right direction.

"It at least has elements of the 2015 system, which is what the teams prefer, but with the addition of each driver needing to do two laps, and with the aggregate taken."

The solution is seen as better than continuing with the current much-maligned elimination set-up that has now been trialled over the first two grands prix of this season in Australia and Bahrain.

It has come in for considerable criticism, with none of the players at the meeting showing any willingness to continue.

A hybrid version of qualifying was also discussed, whereby the first two periods follow the current format, with Q3 reverting back to the old system, but it again drew little support.

From the teams' perspective, they would have been happy to go back to the 2015 system in its old format, only for Todt and Ecclestone to ultimately veto the move.

Following what has been described as a lengthy and constructive debate, the aggregate set-up is at least seen as a compromise.

Not only does it retain numerous elements of qualifying that ran relatively successfully from 2006-15, but it also could add a degree of unpredictability as a mistake from a driver on one of the two laps would compromise the aggregate time.

There is a question mark over the number of sets of tyres required, although it is understood Pirelli believes the teams have more than enough at present.

The Italian manufacturer is forced to discard numerous sets of unused rubber come the end of a grand prix weekend, bearing in mind each driver's allocation is tagged for a particular race.

It is felt better use of that allocation throughout a weekend would ensure the new 'aggregate' system could work without any additional sets required.

This subject will form part of the analysis and discussions over the coming few days.

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