F1 bosses disagree on qualifying, compromise proposed

Sun Apr 3, 2016 8:09am EDT
 
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By Alan Baldwin

MANAMA (Reuters) - Formula One teams and stakeholders failed to agree a fix for the sport's failed new qualifying format at the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday and agreed instead to go away and consider a compromise by next Thursday.

"No decision has been made, we haven't reached the conclusions on how we want to continue yet," said Mercedes motorsport head Toto Wolff after an hour and a half long meeting at the Sakhir circuit that hosts the season's second race.

Team bosses said various new formats were discussed, as well as staying with the current one, but there would be no going back to 2015 qualifying because both the governing FIA and commercial rights holder were opposed.

"It's not on the table," Wolff said of going back to the 2015 format, a move that the teams had proposed unanimously after the new system was panned on its debut in Australia on March 19.

Williams deputy-principal Claire Williams said there was a belief that "just going back to 2015 will create more confusion than is necessary."

The new elimination format, which sees drivers knocked out at timed intervals during the three sessions, was introduced hurriedly before the start of the season in a bid to add excitement and shake up starting grids.

Instead, drivers have been eliminated while sitting in the garages in the final stage rather than battling for pole on track as in the past.

The situation has been a major talking point of the season so far, triggering uproar on social media and dominating much of the talk in the paddock.   Continued...

 
Formula One - Bahrain F1 Grand Prix - Sakhir, Bahrain - 02/04/16 - Mercedes F1 driver, Lewis Hamilton of Britain (L) and Ferrari F1 driver, Kimi Raikkonen of Finland drive during qualifying session for Bahrain F1 GP. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed