Ecclestone promises quick F1 qualifying fix, defends Sky TV deal

Formula 1 will rapidly resolve its issues surrounding qualifying should the new elimination format's second chance prove as big a failure as its first, according to Bernie Ecclestone

Ecclestone promises quick F1 qualifying fix, defends Sky TV deal

The alternative system was roundly derided following its debut in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, with plans immediately launched to revert back to the old format.

But after a period of reflection, it was decided the new set-up should be given another opportunity, despite the consensus at Sakhir being there will be no change to what occurred in Melbourne.

Drivers stunned by qualifying format u-turn

If that is the case, with FIA president Jean Todt also due to attend this weekend's race, it is understood the Frenchman and Ecclestone will get their heads together to thrash out a plan for the remainder of the season.

"Let's see what happens for qualifying," Ecclestone told Autosport.

"But I'm 100 per cent confident we will resolve whatever issues arise should they occur again. After tomorrow we will know what we are doing."

Asked about any input from the teams in his potential meeting with Todt, the 85-year-old said: "We don't need the teams to sit down and discuss it. It's nothing to do with them.

"I'm not being rude. What I'm saying is, it's nothing for them where they can do something.

"To change the regulations it needs to be unanimous from all the people involved [within the F1 Commission], so it is not just about me or the FIA. It's all of us."

EDD STRAW: F1's backwards thinking is idiotic

Ecclestone recognises qualifying is just one problem on F1's agenda, and that a plan needs to be implemented to help safeguard the series' future.

"We'll have to have a good look now and see which way we want to go," added Ecclestone.

"We've lost a television audience, like all sports have, including football.

"So while we've lost an audience one way, actually more people are viewing F1 now than ever before on their phones and tablets.

"So there is more interest than there was before, which is what we have to take advantage of, and which is what we are doing."

DIETER RENCKEN: An open letter to Bernie Ecclestone

Only recently Ecclestone signed a new six-year deal with Sky Sports to run from 2019 through to 2024, and understood to be worth around £1billion.

While many have bemoaned the loss of free-to-air F1, Ecclestone has defended the decision.

"They're going to get to more people than you would believe. They're going to get to 25 million people with the type of broadcast they are planning," said Ecclestone.

"Honestly, it was nothing to do with the money, it was to do with the fact this is the way we have to move forward."

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