Teams agree to revert to old qualifying for Bahrain

Source:AFP Published: 2016-3-20 23:13:01

Formula One will revert to the old system of qualifying for next month's race in Bahrain following the debacle of the new elimination format, ­reports said Sunday.

There was widespread condemnation of the new qualifying format after its first implementation at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on ­Saturday.

The qualifying session embarrassingly petered out with Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen and Nico Rosberg not bothering to improve their times against the rampant ­Mercedes world champion Lewis Hamilton in the final minutes, leaving bewildered fans watching an empty track.

The decision was reached following a meeting of team principals and managers at the track ahead of Sunday's ­Australian Grand Prix race.

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff told reporters, "There was a meeting, with a unanimous decision taken to go back to the old format from Bahrain onwards.

"It needs to be ratified by the F1 Commission, but I would like to see who puts his hand up for yesterday's qualifying. It should be done in the next few days."

F1 ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone, who criticized Saturday's first and now last showing of the revamped mechanism for race grid positions as "pretty crap," is understood to have made his views known to the team bosses by phone, reports said.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said Saturday that F1 should apologize to the fans, while his Mercedes counterpart Wolff said the new system was "rubbish."

Rosberg won the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Posted in: Motorsport

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