New qualifying format scrapped for Bahrain

Sat Mar 19, 2016 11:55pm EDT
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MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Formula One bosses have agreed to ditch the new qualifying format after it was roundly panned at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix and revert to the old system for the second race of the season in Bahrain.

The new format, based on drivers being progressively eliminated during the sessions rather than at the end of them, was intended to add excitement but instead took away any suspense with no cars on track in the final minutes.

The teams principals made the decision, which will still have to be ratified by the Formula One Commission, at a meeting in Melbourne on Sunday.

"For once there was absolute unanimity in the room," Red Bull boss Christian Horner told Sky Sports.

"Everyone recognized what happened yesterday wasn't right ... so the unanimous decision was to go back to what we've had for the last few years from the next race."

Formula One commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone had signaled the decision when he told Reuters on Saturday that changes should be made before the second round of the championship in Bahrain on April 3.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Peter Rutherford)

Formula One -  Australia Grand Prix - Melbourne, Australia - 19/03/16 - Mercedes F1 driver Lewis Hamilton leads team mate Nico Rosberg during qualifying at the Australian Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne.   REUTERS/Jason Reed