Ecclestone: Qualifying Needs More Change

An agreement to scrap Sunday qualifying could be just a stopgap measure before further changes next year, according to commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone

Ecclestone: Qualifying Needs More Change

"I hope that it will change again from 2006," the 74-year-old Ecclestone told reporters at the Monaco Grand Prix.

"The best was when everybody was on the track together, one did a time and the others went out to try and beat it. Here in Monte Carlo, for example, the qualifying was better than the race."

Formula One's governing body sent out fax vote forms to the 10 teams on Friday seeking formal approval to abandon the current aggregate format, with qualifying on Saturday and Sunday, for a single session on Saturday.

The teams have already agreed unanimously to the change, which would see the winner of the previous race run last when conditions are usually best.

The FIA said the change could be in place by next weekend's European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring.

Optimum Conditions

The old one-hour free-for-all system, abandoned at the end of 2002 for a single-lap format, had the drawback of nothing much happening for the first half-hour as drivers waited for optimum conditions.

Ecclestone suggested that could be fixed by having two 25-minute sessions, with drivers forced to set a time in each. BAR boss Nick Fry told Reuters that his team, suspended until the Nurburgring for having an underweight car at the San Marino Grand Prix, had agreed to the change for the good of the sport even though they would be disadvantaged initially.

"I think genuinely going from two qualifying sessions to one is a good move," he said.

"I think it will be well received. It's unusual to do it in the middle of a season but I think it really shows that we're trying to be responsive to what people want. TV companies clearly wanted to have one session, the fans wanted one session.

"For us potentially it's a bit of a disadvantage because we are in the situation where, if it changes for the Nurburgring, then we are going to be one of the first to go.

"Under the old system of two qualifying sessions we'd have had a bit of a chance in the second session to catch up. But our judgement was that...if you look at the big picture it is better for the sport and we were willing to go along with that."

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