A meeting between Bernie Ecclestone, the FIA and F1 team bosses has failed to reach a conclusion on which format qualifying should run under.
The only decision made during the 90-minute meeting, was to meet again on Thursday to discuss alternate qualifying formats further.
It’s understood that options for a revised format include retaining the 2016 system and lengthening Q1 and Q2 by a minute each. Then Q3 would be based on an aggregate time over two laps with Pirelli supplying an extra set of tyres.
F1 bosses all seem to agree that a return to the 2015 format would be the best option, although since FOM and the FIA are refusing to revert to the old system, a compromise must be found.
To the dismay of almost every Formula 1 fan, a simple return to the 2015 format is not in the cards, as the commercial rights holder FOM and the FIA feel returning to an old format would be confusing for fans.
“They said 2015 was not acceptable for them as it was not good enough,” Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff said.
According to Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner, there was an agreement among all parties that the current format doesn’t work.
“The bottom line is if we don’t agree to a compromise, then we’re stuck with what we’ve got and everybody agrees that what we’ve got is not right,” Horner said.
FIA president Jean Todt admitted that he keeps a close eye on social media yet won’t let it rule FIA decisions.
This speaks volumes of how much the sport pays attention to its fans, as there have been countless polls undertaken on Twitter and motorsport websites where fans have overwhelmingly voted to simply return to last year’s familiar format.
However, as Todt mentioned over the course of the weekend, it was the circuit promoters who campaigned for a change to the qualifying format because they wanted a mixed up starting grid. Since they’re the ones coughing up the dough to host Formula 1 races, Todt and Ecclestone seem to be trying everything they can to please the promoters, and not fans who can’t afford a Rolex.
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