F1 team bosses unite against new qualifying system
The controversial system failed to provide enough action during the final segment of qualifying, the top eight decided well in advance of the conclusion of Q3.
It appears that the elimination system will now come under review, with Bernie Ecclestone confirming to Reuters that there is scope to have it changed for Bahrain.
"This idea was the FIA's," Ecclestone is reported to have said.
"If we can get them to agree to change and we agree to change, we can change it. Or if we get all the teams to agree with us, we can change it."
So what do the teams think? Here is a round-up from of reaction from team bosses in the paddock at Albert Park.
Eric Boullier – McLaren
"It's true that there were discussions between the teams, and the team managers clearly spotted the fact that Q3 would not work, but we are not the governing body.
"Technically you only need a couple of days to change whatever you want, you just need to have a sort of E-vote, by fax or by email, and obviously the F1 Commission members can give their opinion.
"I think if everybody agrees it should be unanimous and it could be done. Obviously I don't know if it will be unanimous. If some people want to give a chance to this qualifying format there won't be unanimity, and we can't change anything."
Christian Horner – Red Bull Racing
"I think firstly we should apologise to the fans and the viewers because that's not what qualifying should be, it should crescendo into something.
"The intentions were well meaning but we have to accept that it hasn't worked, we got it wrong, and we should address it very quickly.
"My personal view is that we should go back to what we had in time for the next race, because what we saw today is not good for F1.
"Qualifying should build up to a crescendo, and everybody bolts their last set of tyres in the last couple of minutes, and you see what you've got.
"We just have to accept, we got it wrong, but react quickly, and change quickly. I think we have to hold our hands up and say we got it absolutely wrong. It was done for the promoters, to try to give them a better show, and I can't see that we've done that.
"I'd be amazed if anyone didn't agree. We have it a go, it didn't work, let's sort it out for Bahrain."
Claire Williams – Williams
"I think there are issues, I think we always thought there probably would be in the first round.
"I think we need to go away and have a look at it before deciding what we want to do. Whether that's just playing around with the format we've got or reverting back, it's too early to say. But it was not great to see no cars go out in the last five minutes of Q3."
Pat Symonds – Williams
"Personally I don't think we should base things on a sample of one. We've seen one. And we can see what's wrong with it.
"The thing that is most wrong with it is the last few minutes of Q3. So if it was up to me – which it isn't – I would keep the format for Q1 and for Q2, because I do believe that, over the year, you'll get the odd person out of position which is always good for the race.
"But, so that qualifying doesn't become a means to an end, I'd probably put the old Q3 back. I wouldn't necessarily go back to where we were."
Cyril Abiteboul – Renault
"I think we should not overreact. I think we need to look a little bit into it.
"One thing is sure is that Q3 doesn't work, that's obvious. Some clever guys said that in advance that Q3 would not work. So maybe there is an intermediate way which is to keep Q1 and Q2, which frankly from inside was really exciting.
"It's a sport that's living, we do some mistakes, we need to come back, so let's see. I am sure that's it's fairly easy to get a vote before Bahrain to modify one element, and that's Q3.
"I am sure that everyone will agree to change Q3, but I don't think we should immediately go back to the old system. I think we need to filter a little bit the emotion."
Otmar Szafnauer – Force India
"My initial thought was that Q1 and Q2 worked okay, and Q3, just change it back to what we used to have.
"We talked about a hybrid system before, but for whatever reason, it didn't go through. But now to me anyway that's the best thing to do.
"We do fax votes and all sorts of stuff, if you really want it to happen, you can get it through. It's going to take a bit of time, but Q3, it's got to change."
Toto Wolff – Mercedes
"I think we got it wrong.
"We had a qualifying format that was pretty much okay. In order to spice things up this is where we ended up.
"There is the obvious choice – which is to return to what we had before. It is in the regulations.
"If we were to reinvent a different format we need to think carefully about what it should be. We shouldn't close our eyes to trying to make the spectacle better – that is important. But it should be a thought through process."
Gunther Steiner - Haas
"I think the easiest way to do it is to go back to the old format before we try something else and make a similar mistake.
"It's hard to make an argument not to change it at this point. We are not doing this for us. We are doing it for the fans and that's what we want to engage.
"We are trying to make the sport better. This is not a battle of a million or two. This is about to make the sport attractive for all of us."
Additional reporting by Adam Cooper and Jonathan Noble
This article by Andrew van Leeuwen originally appeared on Motorsport.com, the world's leader in auto racing news, photos, and video.
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