It was announced yesterday that Formula One will retain the live elimination qualifying format, in full, for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The derided change to qualifying had a farcical debut in Australia, with team bosses agreeing to get rid of the current system for the second race in Bahrain. However, Thursday’s meeting of the Strategy Group failed to reach the unanimous agreement required for a rule change.
This is the new qualifying format that F1 has at the moment:-
It had been suggested F1 adopted a hybrid format for the next race, keeping Q1 and Q2 in the live elimination format but changing Q3 to the rules that existed between 2010 and 2015. F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, who was all for the revised format and spoke highly of it confirmed the system will be reviewed after its second running in Bahrain.
In a statement to the media yesterday, Ecclestone confirmed that the system is staying the same for now as follows:-
‘The outcome I think is that we are going to stay as we are. After Bahrain, we’re going to have a look at it.’
The inability of F1’s decision-makers to implement change comes just a day after drivers wrote an open letter to complain about the “ill-structured and absolete” system of governance, which it said “reflects negatively on our sport”. On Thursday Ecclestone wrote back saying he agreed with the criticisms and asked for drivers to propose solutions.
So what’s next in this saga? More changes that reflect badly on the sport we know and love? I would say more than likely, it’ll only get worse before it gets better.