Team bosses to hold urgent talks over changes to F1 qualifying

Formula 1 team principals will meet in Melbourne on Sunday morning to discuss whether the unsuccessful elimination qualifying format can be changed before the Bahrain Grand Prix, Autosport has learned

Team bosses to hold urgent talks over changes to F1 qualifying

The first attempt at running F1's revamped qualifying system in Australia on Saturday was pilloried as a lack of time and tyres to allow drivers to react to ending up 'on the bubble' in the 90-second elimination windows meant large periods with no track action.

IN QUOTES: F1 paddock's scathing reaction to new qualifying

Mercedes motorsport chief Toto Wolff was among many team bosses to immediately call for change.

Asked if it could be done in the fortnight before the next grand prix in Bahrain, he replied: "There is a will. That should be the target".

Although some have advocated the briefly-mooted compromise proposal - which did not come to fruition - of running Q3 in the previous style and retaining the elimination system for Q1 and Q2, Wolff said the most practical solution was to go back to the 2006-15 method entirely.

"The obvious choice is to return to what we had before," he said. "It's in the regulations.

"If we were to come up with a different format we need to think carefully what that would be."

Teams need to agree unanimously on any change and then have it approved by the F1 Commission and the FIA's World Motor Sport Council.

DIETER RENCKEN: How F1 created its qualifying shambles

Wolff believes this could happen rapidly in the circumstances.

"If all the teams were to come together and say this is a unanimous opinion then we have a pretty good chance of getting it through," he said.

"I doubt anybody would lift his hand in favour of the new qualifying format."

F1 commercial chief Bernie Ecclestone told Autosport he had found the revised qualifying format a "pretty crap" spectacle and saw no reason why it could not change for Bahrain.

But his preference was to go to a more radical system under which drivers had time penalties added in qualifying based on their results from the previous race, to ensure the winner of one grand prix had to fight through the field at the next.

Wolff accepted there were advantages to Ecclestone's suggestion but doubts it is the right move for F1.

"I perfectly understand what he is trying to achieve, that you make the racing more exciting with the guy in the quickest car starting from 10th or ninth," he said.

"As a promoter, the commercial rights holder, it's perfectly legitimate thinking [for Ecclestone] in my view.

"For the purity of the sport, if you follow that philosophy, it's probably not the right thing to do."

The champion team's boss agreed that the whole saga of the qualifying revamp had been a "pretty embarrassing" episode for F1 already.

"We're a global sport with millions of spectators and we've changed the rules in an erratic way, and we shouldn't have done," Wolff said.

"I think stability is important at this moment and keeping it simple."

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