F1 fails to agree qualifying system change, rules out 2015 format

Formula 1 bosses failed to agree on changing the grand prix qualifying system but it has become clear a return to the 2015 format is not an option

F1 fails to agree qualifying system change, rules out 2015 format

Team principals, F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, FIA president Jean Todt and Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery met in the Bahrain Grand Prix paddock on Sunday morning to discuss a way forward.

F1 'will look like fools' if qualifying isn't fixed - Wolff

During a 90-minute meeting, a completely new idea - the details of which are currently unclear - was put on the table that will now be analysed by the teams and discussed at another meeting on Thursday.

The teams want a return to the 2015 format but the FIA and commercial rights holder FOM are not prepared to do that.

The FIA and FOM feel reverting to the old system would be more confusing for fans, though it is believed this view is not widely shared by the team bosses.

"They said 2015 is not acceptable for them as it was not good enough," said Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff.

Several proposals were discussed, but according to Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams a previously mooted hybrid format of Q1 and Q2 remaining in 2016 elimination spec and Q3 returning to 2015 style was not backed.

"Most people believed it would not achieve what we wanted to achieve," she said.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner said one of ideas was "perhaps with an aggregate time of two laps rather than a single lap but it needs to be properly thought out".

There is now a brand new proposal on the table that was put forward by governing body the FIA.

Following analysis of that proposal in the coming days, Autosport understands a vote will be taken on two options - introducing the new proposal or staying with the elimination format in its current form.

"It's a well thought-through proposal the FIA has come up with," said Williams.

"Hopefully it will be a solution that will work for everybody, that will be easy for our fans to understand and will also see more cars out on track."

There is a consensus among F1's bosses that the next move needs to be a successful and final solution, rather than a knee-jerk reaction that experiments with the format but risks alienating more fans.

According to Horner, there was agreement among all parties that the elimination format in its current form does not work.

"The bottom line is if we don't agree to a compromise, then we're stuck with what we've got and everybody agrees that what we've got is not right," he said.

The majority feel that progress has been made despite a solution yet to have been agreed.

"Everybody stuck to their position for a while and we moved to something that potentially could fulfil what is requested," said McLaren racing director Eric Boullier.

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