Formula 1's controversial new elimination qualifying format is set to remain in place for the Bahrain Grand Prix and will be reviewed after the race, it has been confirmed.
After the shambles which unfolded at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, it became clear the format was flawed as the majority of cars in the elimination zone did not have time in the 90-second countdown to save themselves by setting a new lap time. Qualifying ended with zero track action in the final few minutes as drivers settled for their grid 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.
It is now believed the elimination qualifying format will remain the same for the second round of the season, the Bahrain Grand Prix, with a review of the format after the race weekend.
"The outcome I think is that we are going to stay as we are," Bernie Ecclestone told Reuters
after a vote by the F1 Strategy Group. “After Bahrain, we're going to have a look at it."
Due to F1 Strategy Group rules, it required a unanimous decision to reject the qualifying format from the sporting regulations which has not been achieved after its meeting on Thursday (24th March).
As a result, the elimination qualifying is expected to stay for Bahrain and reviewed by the rule-makers after the race.
The new qualifying format is part of the reason behind the GPDA's open letter slamming the F1 rule-makers, calling the process 'obsolete and ill-structured' and is asking for a reformation.
Ecclestone has supported the GPDA's plea for change but has also resisted the move to revert back to the old qualifying format immediately and feels 'the good from the format can be used'.