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Ecclestone backs F1 elimination qualifying format

Bernie Ecclestone has thrown his support behind the controversial new elimination qualifying in F1 and feels 'we can salvage the good of the format'.
Bernie Ecclestone has thrown his support behind the controversial new elimination qualifying in F1 and feels with tweaks 'we can salvage the good of the format'.

After the new F1 qualifying format was slammed for being uncompetitive and embarrassing as the majority of cars in the elimination zone did not having time in the 90-second countdown to save themselves while there was zero track action in the final few minutes as drivers settled for their positions.

Despite confirmation last Sunday that the new format would be scrapped for Bahrain, talk has reignited the elimination qualifying with a possible hybrid being pitched whereby Q1 and Q2 would keep the knockout with the top ten Q3 reverting back to the former format.

Ecclestone has admitted the confusion caused was not ideal but feels with changes it can be improved for both the drivers and fans.

"I was confused as it was the first run and all the variables couldn't have been predicted, like how it was decided in Q3. We can improve it," Ecclestone said La Gazzetta dello Sport. "If I were to give an opinion, I would say we will continue with the format from Australia.

"I am a prudent man, and new things must be tested. The new qualifying caused a bit of shock, but maybe we can salvage the good of the format."

The 85-year-old is eager to uncover fresh excitement for the sport to lure back TV viewers which have dropped over recent years and sees a shake-up of qualifying as a viable option.

"I am an entrepreneur and I must sell Formula 1 to the race organisers. If fans no longer watch then I have less money to give the teams,” he added "I have to find the best solution and having drivers eliminated every 90 seconds could be exciting."

With friction building between separate F1 groups, after the GPDA published a stinging statement calling the current F1 rule-making process 'obsolete and ill-structured', it is believed F1 will vote on the qualifying format for Bahrain on Thursday (24th March) in an attempt to soothe the growing tensions.




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