Bernie Ecclestone is retaining hope that elimination qualifying will be more exciting second time around in Bahrain after the new format was widely criticised by teams and fans in Australia.
The F1 supremo was the instigator in introducing change to the qualifying system to try and spice up the racing, with his ultimate aim to ensure the stronger drivers start further down the grid and are forced to fight back.
Though his original proposal to introduce reverse grids didn't prove popular, the teams voted in a new elimination format instead. However, it would prove flawed with a lack of available tyres forcing teams to spend much of the session inside the pit-lane as it was futile heading out to beat their times.
Panned across the board, including at the time by Ecclestone himself, the format was expected to be ditched, but reverting back wasn't offered as an option at the subsequent vote. As such, no unanimous agreement was reached and elimination qualifying remains for round two.
However, Ecclestone has defended the decision, insisting it should be given another shot to determine exactly whether it can be salvaged, amended or dropped altogether.
“The FIA thought it would work, it didn't, so they've admitted it doesn't work,” he told SkySports F1
. “So we will have a look at it again and see what happens here and see what modifications need to happen, or do we scrap it.
“[It remains because] firstly you need a unanimous agreement of all the competitors in the championship, which we never got, and secondly we thought let's give it a try and see; maybe we were a little bit unlucky with what we thought was going to happen.
“We hoped that in Q1 we knocked one or two of the hot shoes out and Q2 would do the same. That's what we hoped and maybe that's what will happen here.”
Explaining his motivation for the changes, Ecclestone feels qualifying was the main reason why he wouldn't 'buy a ticket to watch a race', since he felt it pre-determined the finishing order.
“I got criticised as you may or may not know, by saying that I wouldn't buy a ticket to watch a race, and the reason I said that is because if I want to go and see any particular sport I don't want to know the result before I go. I think it was a fair chance last year that you knew Lewis was going to be on pole and win the race.
“Let's muddle up the grid so that when… The idea was that hopefully Lewis and one or two of the hot shoes would be starting further down.”