Elimination Qualifying gets Bahrain GP reprieve

The much maligned elimination qualifying format will remain in place for at least the Bahrain Grand Prix, with a decision about its future to be made after the race in the desert.

Formula 1’s Strategy Group met on Thursday morning to discuss potential alternatives to the format, but rather than make a knee-jerk decision to drop the qualifying procedure after just the one event, it has been decided to give the controversial format a second outing in Bahrain.

F1 Supremo Bernie Ecclestone revealed that he suggested keeping the format in place for at least the second round of the season, after which a decision can be made to see whether it should stay, be tweaked or be dropped completely in favour of a return to the 2015 format.

“They’re going to do what I proposed, which is leave things as they are for this race,” said Ecclestone to Autosport. “After that we will then have a good look and decide whether what was done was the right thing to do, the wrong thing to do, does it need modifying, does it need scrapping?

“This was an FIA idea in the first place, so I’ve said to them we’ll support whatever they think is the right thing to do. But as nobody knows what the right thing to do is, we’ve said we’ll stay where we are and have a look after this race.

“Then two races in we’ll see, as it was a prototype, what was right or wrong. The teams didn’t understand what they were doing either, which didn’t help at all.”