F1 chiefs considering "whole new" proposal for qualifying

Formula 1 chiefs have ruled out reverting to the 2015 qualifying format or adding more tyres for Q3, with a completely new proposal now being considered after their meeting in Bahrain on Sunday.

As reported earlier, team bosses, Pirelli, Bernie Ecclestone and Jean Todt failed to reach an agreement on what qualifying format should be in place from China following a 90-minute meeting.

The F1 chiefs left the meeting with three proposals to analyse - one of them completely new - and will discuss their plans on Thursday before deciding which system will be used for the next race.

FIA president Todt admitted there was a completely new proposal on the table, although declined to give any details about it.

"There is a new proposal and by Thursday we should have a final outcome," he told reporters.

"You need to be a little patient and look forward to a good race today, and by Thursday you will have all the information. I hope the fans will be happy with it. I think I've said enough."

No going back

Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams said that teams had reached a conclusion that simply going back to the 2015 format would not be a positive one for F1.

"We came out in Melbourne and Bahrain, have been here this weekend, with that new 2016 format and I think the belief is that just going back to 2015 will create more confusion than is necessary," she explained.

A new proposal was tabled, but all team bosses were coy on releasing any details about it.

"I don't want to come out and say what it is, personally, I don't know if the FIA or the CRH [commercial rights holder] will.

"I think it's up to them if they want to come out and say it - but I think we need to understand it first before putting it on the table and creating more confusion."

No extra tyres

Pirelli's Paul Hembery said a proposal to give teams an extra set of tyres for Q3 has also been ruled out.

"No, not exactly, no," Hembery said when asked if giving teams extra tyres for Q3 was discussed.

"There's a lot variations thrown in in there. There's three proposals and that's what we are evaluating.

"There's different options on the table, and you need to go away and look at the practicalities of each one, and once we've done that, we'll see what we come up with."

Speaking about the decision to not go back to the 2015 system, he said: "I think it was changed away from last year to try to address what was seen as a maybe a situation where qualifying was too predictable.

"So to simply go back to something that was used before maybe didn't address that issue. I think it's a case of looking at what worked before or maybe isn't working as well as we'd like now and try to come up with something that gives a level of unpredictability, which is what was being sought with the original proposal."

Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene added: "It was accepted by all that the current format doesn't work, so it was formulated a new proposal that I believe is very interesting.

"There's work to be done on it, and in the course of the coming week we should reach a conclusion. It's not an hybrid proposal - that's all I can say."

Additional reporting by Roberto Chinchero and Adam Cooper

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Series Formula 1
Article type Breaking news