Bernie Ecclestone is still far from happy with the current qualifying system but thinks it's impossible to get all the team bosses to agree on an alternative. There have been many discussions about the situation but so far the only change has been...
Bernie Ecclestone is still far from happy with the current qualifying system but thinks it's impossible to get all the team bosses to agree on an alternative. There have been many discussions about the situation but so far the only change has been to set the starting times of the two Saturday sessions at 13.00 and 14.00 to give slightly more space between them.
Many feel qualifying is now too long and simply not interesting enough. Ecclestone claimed it was Ferrari that stopped any revision to the format because it suits the team the way it is.
"I'm not happy with qualifying at all," Ecclestone told reporters in Bahrain. "The problem is that we are operating under a democracy, so we have to get everybody to agree and it's not possible."
"The people who stopped things going through in the way that we proposed were Ferrari because at the moment it's the best possible decision for Ferrari. I said when they were at the regulations that this is a Michael regulation. And I don't blame them not agreeing to change it."
The question of qualifying was raised again in today's FIA press conference. Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn pointed out that with no refueling permitted between qualifying and race, it would be difficult to make any major changes.
"We've all built cars with reduced fuel capacity now, because we don't make so many one-stop races and we're all qualifying with fuel," he said. "So it's not easy to go back without penalising some of the cars, some of the teams who've perhaps put their minds to taking the best from the current qualifying format."
Williams chief operations engineer Sam Michael agreed with the idea of no refueling as it gives more chance of interesting grid positions. "You definitely couldn't change it back this year, because of people changing their fuel tanks," he said of the current system.
"But I also think it's a good change, even if you were saying for 2005 or 6, I would still maintain a qualifying system that makes you qualify on fuel load because I think that's been a positive change because it does enable someone to run less fuel and get up the grid and it does mix the grid up a bit, but the real question is the single lap qualifying."