Formula One‘s revised qualifying format, introduced just days before the Australian Grand Prix, is set to remain at least until the Chinese Grand Prix.
Universally panned by drivers and observers, the new format saw drivers eliminated ever 90 seconds in each of the three segments throughout the hour long session.
However the format fell flat when teams elected not to head out on track for a second lap, leaving the circuit empty at the end of the second and third phases.
That problem was the result of a limited tyre allocation, with teams unwilling to sacrifice a set for Saturday glory at the risk of their Sunday performance.
Qualifying has no championship points or prize money awarded, hence there was no reason to venture out for a second bite at the cherry.
Following qualifying team bosses met in Melbourne at the request of Bernie Ecclestone, who wasn’t present in Australia.
A subsequent Strategy Group meeting, which included Ecclestone and FIA President Jean Todt, saw any change to the system blocked.
It’s understood Ecclestone himself was against making any changes, a view which had previously found support courtesy of Force India and Pirelli.
As a change to the system wasn’t agreed upon unanimously, as is needed through the Strategy Group, it was not presented to the F1 Commission before the 17:00 CET deadline.
Therefore the knock-out qualifying system will remain in place for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
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