Formula 1's controversial new qualifying system looks set to be delayed until the start of the European leg due to problems introduce the format to the timing systems, according to Bernie Ecclestone.

The new 'live elimination' format, which will see all cars on track and the slowest after 90secs intervals pulled out has been introduced for this year's championship in an effort to spice up the qualifying action and open up the pole position battle.

However, drivers and teams have offered a mixed response to the changes, with many questioning their necessity given the current qualifying format is considered relatively popular.

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Nevertheless, Bernie Ecclestone has said the regulation will need to be put on hold for the moment anyway as software needs to be written for the timing systems to factor in the new format. This apparently won't happen until round five and the Spanish Grand Prix.

"The new qualifying won't happen because we can't get everything together in time," he told The Independent.

"It was going to come in at the start of this year but we are not going to be able to get all the software done in time.

"So the qualifying changes will probably be in Spain. In Australia, it will be the old qualifying. All of the software has to be written so it's not easy."

"It's not what I wanted in the end. All I'm trying to do is muddle up the grid so that the guy that is quickest in qualifying doesn't sit on pole and disappear because why should he be slow in the race if he is quick in qualifying?"