Ecclestone backs revised F1 elimination qualifying plan

Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has thrown his support behind the plan to revamp elimination qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix, ahead of crunch votes to decide what to do.

Motorsport.com revealed on Wednesday that rather than reverting to the old qualifying system for the next race, F1 chiefs were instead edging towards a plan for a tweaked elimination concept.

The timings of Q1 and Q2 would be changed to allow more running, while Q3 would be like the old normal style.

The matter is currently going through an e-vote at the F1 Commission, and then there is set to be an imminent ratification by the FIA's World Motor Sport Council.

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H joins the queue at the pit lane exit
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H joins the queue at the pit lane exit

Photo by: XPB Images

Elimination remains

Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport, Ecclestone said that although teams were not in favour of the tweaks, he believes that they will have to back the revamp plan so the Australian system does not remain in place.

"The teams are discussing that and they want to go back," he said. "If I were to give an opinion, I would say we will continue with the format from Australia."

Ecclestone said it was important that F1 did not simply abandon efforts to try new things – even if they don't work first time out.

"I am a prudent man, and new things must be tested," he said. "The new qualifying caused a bit of shock, but maybe we can salvage the good of the format."

He added: "I want to ensure the final result isn't taken for granted. I am an entrepreneur and I must sell F1 to the race organisers.

"If fans no longer watch then I have less money to give the teams. That is why I have to find the best solution and why having drivers eliminated every 90 seconds could be exciting."

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 Team W07 leaves the pits
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 Team W07 leaves the pits

Photo by: XPB Images

Making improvements

Ecclestone spoke out against the new system in the immediate aftermath of the farcical end to Q3 in Melbourne, when there were no cars out on track.

But he thinks there is scope there for the idea to do better with some alterations.

"I was also confused as it was the first run and all the variables couldn't have been predicted, like how everything was decided in Q3. We can improve."

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Series Formula 1
Article type Breaking news