FIA meets with Formula 1 teams to debate qualifying format revamp

Formula 1's plans to introduce a revamped qualifying format face further review in the wake of discussions between the FIA and the teams at Barcelona, Autosport has learned

FIA meets with Formula 1 teams to debate qualifying format revamp

FIA technical director Charlie Whiting met with the team managers from all 11 marques in the Catalunya circuit's paddock during the first day of the second pre-season test.

Top of the agenda was the proposed new elimination qualifying system voted through at a meeting of the F1 Commission in Geneva last Tuesday.

BEN ANDERSON: F1 is tackling questions nobody asked

The idea was put forward by F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, and supported by the various promoters from the circuits.

Given the weight of those in favour of the change, the teams felt obliged to also offer their backing, despite there being nothing fundamentally wrong with the current system that has been in place since 2006.

It was initially suggested the change to qualifying, with a driver knocked out every 90 seconds across the three qualifying periods until only the poleman remains, would likely be implemented for the Australian Grand Prix.

Ecclestone then revealed due to the complexities of changing the software to recognise the new format, Formula One Management would be unable to introduce the system until the Spanish GP in mid-May.

With the teams understood to be expressing concerns behind the scenes, led by Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne, Whiting arranged the meeting to discuss the issues.

F1 planned trial of new qualifying at test

Autosport sources have confirmed that fundamentally the new format is not difficult to implement, and that information relayed between the FIA and the teams would ensure relatively smooth running.

But the Barcelona debate has offered the FIA food for thought, with no definitive answer emerging for now on whether the revised system will ultimately come to fruition from Spain onwards, later in the season or even be delayed until 2017.

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