F1 bosses to meet on Sunday to discuss urgent qualifying change

Formula 1 team bosses will meet ahead of the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday to discuss an urgent change to the sport's qualifying system for the next race in Bahrain.

 F1 bosses to meet on Sunday to discuss urgent qualifying change
Nico Hulkenberg, Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
Toto Wolff, Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director in the Press Conference
Press Conference (From back row (L to R)): Cyril Abiteboul, Renault Sport F1 Managing Director, Eric Boullier, McLaren Racing Director; Gene Haas, Haas Automotion President, Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Team Principal, Toto Wolff, Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director, Maurizio Arrivabene, Ferrari Team Principal.
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 Team W07 leads team mate Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 Team W07
Bernie Ecclestone
Eric Boullier, McLaren Racing Director with Toto Wolff, Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director

Amid a backlash about the failed elimination format – with teams and Bernie Ecclestone unhappy about how the new system worked – Motorsport.com has learned that a gathering of team principals is set to take place at Albert Park on Sunday.

At the meeting, it is likely that a move will be made to agree on what action should be taken for changes to be made immediately.

When asked if there was widespread feeling of the need to alter qualifying, Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff said: "I think there is a will. Nobody tried to really damage the spectacle in qualifying on purpose.

"The basic idea of having a shoot out and making it very exciting every 90 seconds when somebody drops out could trigger results that give a certain variability that a favourite gets it wrong.

"So the basic concept was not completely stupid. But as with many things that devil is in the detail – and we saw today we actually complicated things at a time where we should simplify them. And there were periods were cars were not running."

Going back

Wolff accepted a telephone call from Ecclestone ahead of his regular Saturday media conference, where the pair discussed the issue.

Speaking about the topic of the conversation, Wolff said: "I think we got it wrong."

It is understood that the most likely outcome from the Sunday meeting will be for qualifying to revert to the old format in its entirely, rather than just tweaks being made to Q3.

Wolff added: "We had a qualifying format that was pretty much okay. In order to spice things up this is where we ended up.

"There is the obvious choice – which is to return to what we had before. It is in the regulations.

"If we were to reinvent a different format we need to think carefully about what it should be. We shouldn't close our eyes to trying to make the spectacle better – that is important. But it should be a thought through process."

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