Ecclestone Pushing for Qualifying Change

Formula One could be set for yet another change to its qualifying format this season, with team bosses set to discuss the issue during this weekend's San Marino Grand Prix

Ecclestone Pushing for Qualifying Change

The sport is using its third different qualifying format in three years after the FIA, Formula One's ruling body, approved a major overhaul before the start of the 2005 season.

This year's format has not proved popular among fans and television networks, with the grid-deciding session taking place early on Sunday morning. Under current rules, drivers must complete one flying lap on Saturday and one on Sunday, with the aggregated time determining their grid position.

According to a report in the Guardian newspaper, Formula One commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone is pushing to introduce a new format that would only take place on Saturday afternoon so spectators can know the grid ahead of race day.

"Qualifying requires a unanimous agreement of all the teams to change," a high level source told Autosport-Atlas in the Imola paddock today. "Until you get that, it is not going to change. Hopefully people will get round the table and discuss it, because it is one of the things that need to be discussed as immediate issues.

"It doesn't relate to 2008 in any way, shape or form, so hopefully like it or loathe it we need to do it. Whether there will be a discussion this weekend, I don't know."

Ecclestone is to meet with the ten Formula One team bosses this weekend at Imola to try to implement a new system as soon as possible. The Formula One supremo already tried to change the one-lap qualifying system last year, but the teams failed to reach a unanimous agreement.

The idea of qualifying taking place on Sunday arose at the end of last season, when a typhoon threat forced to cancel running on Saturday and have both final qualifying and the race on Sunday.

The current format was approved by all teams in October last year.

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