F1 learned a lesson from qualifying fiasco: Williams

Mon Apr 11, 2016 11:05am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - Formula One learned a lesson from the qualifying fiasco that overshadowed the opening races of the season in Australia and Bahrain, Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams said on Monday.

"I think that we have learned that we need to take more time to consider the proposals that come to us," she told reporters at a breakfast meeting after her team published their annual results.

"You don't want to play out scenarios like that in the public arena. They should be done behind the scenes. I do think we've learned the lesson."

Formula One started the season with a new elimination format that was put to teams and accepted only weeks before the March 20 opener in Melbourne.

The aim was to shake up the starting grid, and provide more excitement during the Saturday session, but it was immediately declared a failure by both teams and fans who made their opposition evident on social media.

Instead of producing a shoot-out for pole at the end of the third and final phase, drivers were eliminated while sitting in the garages with minutes remaining on the clock and nothing happening on track.

The decision to revert, from this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, was taken last week when teams rejected a compromise proposal.

International Automobile Federation (FIA) president Jean Todt and the sport's commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone said they had accepted the move "in the interests of the Championship".   Continued...

Formula One - Bahrain Grand Prix - Sakhir, Bahrain - 01/04/16 - Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain leaves the pitlane during the second practice. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed.