Qualifying Change Not Easy, Says Dennis

McLaren boss Ron Dennis said on Saturday that plans to change qualifying this season are unlikely to succeed because of the effect any new format would have on the different teams on the grid

Qualifying Change Not Easy, Says Dennis

Dennis was amongst the team bosses who met with Formula One commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone this weekend to discuss ideas for a change to the current system, which has proved unpopular since its introduction.

Ecclestone is hoping for teams to return to the previous system of running qualifying over a one-hour period with drivers given a set amount of laps to set their time.

Other suggestions have included knock-out competitions and top-ten showdowns but Dennis is concerned that the knock-on effect of any solution will prevent an agreement being found.

"There is a general trend and a firm commitment to try to make Formula One better but if you want to effect a change at short notice it is difficult to achieve it without adversely affecting someone's performance," said Dennis.

"The difficulty of changing qualifying from what we have at the moment, is that most alternative forms of qualifying have some bearing on fuel tank capacity and the range of the individual cars.

"If you have a qualifying that says the grid is determined by cars with no fuel in then you take the car away and fill it, anyone who has a large capacity tank will have an advantage.

"Clearly, as it requires unanimous agreement to change qualifying, the challenge is how do we change it without having a detrimental effect on one team's performance versus another.

"As a team we will definitely wish not to be rushed into it and we are not going to be particularly happy to accept any solution that goes against us. I think every team is going to think through that."

Dennis also believes any change would also compromise the tyre manufacturers, who have created new designs aimed at lasting for qualifying and the race, and that could also prevent a fast solution.

Asked whether a suitable change could be found in time for the British Grand Prix in July, Dennis said: "There is a possibility but it depends on whatever comes out of the various meetings."

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