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F1's 'musical chairs' qualifying format to be reviewed

2016-04-02 20:30

FANS AREN'T HAPPY: FIA president Jean Todt will meet with other stakeholders in Formula 1 to discuss a way forward over the 'elimination' qualifying format. Image: AP / Hassan Ammar

Sakhir - Formula 1's much-criticised new qualifying format will be reviewed again on Sunday (April 3), and Jean Todt, chief of the sport's governing body, says he's optimistic about getting the unanimous agreement needed for changes.

Under the new system, first used in the season opener in Australia and again at the Bahrain Grand Prix on Saturday, the slowest driver is eliminated on a rolling basis. In an embarrassment for the sport, it produced an anticlimax in Melbourne as drivers accepted elimination rather than use up tires trying to better their times.

Emergency meeting

A meeting of the F1 Commission in the lead-up to Bahrain failed to get unanimous agreement on how to change it but the FIA has called another meeting for Sunday (April 3).

Read: Lauda slams 'crazy' F1 qualifying fiasco

FIA president Todt said: "I am optimistic we will get unanimous support tomorrow, we will have learned more from qualifying (in Bahrain). I felt it was necessary to give one more chance to this form of qualifying before reverting back to 2015."

Read: Bahrain GP qualifying - As it happened

Todt's preferred option was to maintain the new rolling elimination format for the Q1 and Q2 segments, with a slight increase in the amount of track time before the eliminations kick in, and then revert to the old qualifying system for Q3 in which the top grid spots are determined at the end of the session.

Todt said an alternative solution is an extra set of tires in Q3 to make teams less preoccupied with keeping fresh rubber for the race. FIA race director Charlie Whiting spoke to the sport's tire supplier Pirelli after the Australian Grand Prix about whether that was possible and was told it could not be done in time for Bahrain. It would also incur additional costs on teams if that rule was introduced in subsequent races.

Below are tweets from F1 fans and their reactions to the new qualifying format:


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Read more on:    fia  |  jean todt  |  bahrain  |  f1  |  motorsport

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