McLaren-Honda racing director Eric Boullier says Formula 1 has made the right move for the fans by reverting back to the previous qualifying format and ditching the highly-criticised knockout experiment.
The Frenchman was a central part of the F1 teams uniting and writing to FIA President Jean Todt and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone demanding to switch back to the 2015 qualifying format for the health of the sport.
The new-for-2016 knockout qualifying came under heavy fire after the farce seen in Australia with drivers not getting enough time to improve their laps while the track was empty for the final four minutes of qualifying.
Despite the outcry F1 persisted to give the format a second chance in Bahrain but after similar results it has been binned in favour of the previous system used.
Boullier feels it is a key step to keep fans happy in F1 and hopes the sport can move on swiftly at the Chinese Grand Prix this weekend.
“Next weekend will also see the return of the 2015 qualifying format, which is certainly a positive step for the fans and will hopefully offer a more watchable, engaging qualifying process than the interim solution we saw at the last couple of races,” Boullier said.
Focusing on his team's preparation for the third race of the season, Boullier is confident McLaren-Honda can produce a stronger potential at Shanghai after a couple of inconsistent performances this year and hopes to take momentum from Stoffel Vandoorne's point-scoring debut after he stepped in for the injured Fernando Alonso.
“Operationally, the McLaren-Honda team will adapt in our usual way and make the most of the track time and resources available to us in each session,” Boullier said. “Tyres and power units will be the big talking points this weekend on this challenging.
“Nonetheless varied and interesting Shanghai International Circuit, so set-up, management and reliability will be key to ensuring we achieve our potential in China.”
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