Thumbs down for Sunday qualifying

After a meeting involving Formula 1 team principals at Indianapolis, it was revealed that Sunday qualifying has been rejected as a format change for next year

Thumbs down for Sunday qualifying

The suggestion, aimed at spicing up the Sunday on-circuit action ahead of the grand prix itself, met with opposition from the better-funded teams who like to use their drivers for sponsor commitments in the Paddock Club on race day. The schedule would also have been squeezed by fitting in a qualifying session on race day, as well as imposing even heavier demands on race team personnel.

The precise format of the 2004 F1 schedule is still to be decided, as are moves to reduce testing to go hand-in-hand with the single engine rule in curtailing costs. More discussion will be held before the October FIA World Council meeting.

BMW Motorsport director Mario Theissen said: "The main aim if you look at the one engine rule and testing restrictions, is to reduce cost. Both approaches offer potential to do that significantly if they are applied in the right way. We are prepared to design and develop an engine for next year that is capable of doing double mileage and now it's important to fix next year's regulations in a way that it really happens, otherwise you won't save money at all.

"We do more testing today than is healthy to the sport. The only issue is that I would prefer every team to be on the same testing scheme. If there is a restriction and everybody has to cope with it, it is a sporting issue and we would go for it. We would support it."

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