Following a meeting between Formula 1 chiefs, team bosses and Pirelli today in Bahrain, it has been decided that there will be no return to the original 2015 qualifying set-up, and instead a whole new format is to be proposed.
It was confirmed that there have been three new systems put forward to the teams, one of which is an all new proposal for an aggregate time pole position decider, where by each drivers final time will be derived from an aggregate of two fast laps in each of the Q1, Q2 and Q3 segments. A decision will be made on Thursday to decide the final outcome ahead of the next round in China.
Speaking to motorsport.com FIA president Jean Todt advised: “There is a new proposal and by Thursday we should have a final outcome. You need to be a little patient and look forward to a good race today, and by Thursday you will have all the information. I hope the fans will be happy with it. I think I’ve said enough.”
It was decided during the course of the conference that there could be no going back to the original layout, as this would not be of benefit to F1. Both Bernie Ecclestone and Todt were opposed to reverting back to what was in place before and suggested the new modified version to teams as a possible alternative.
Red Bull Team Boss Christian Horner confirmed to motorsport.com that bringing back original qualifying was not an option the teams were given:
“I think the teams have been unanimous for a while that the easiest thing is to go back to 2015. That’s not possible, so we have to try to find a compromise. Let’s consider it properly rather than rushing into a decision today.”
Meanwhile Williams Deputy Team Principal, Claire Williams told motorsport.com that they were in agreement that switching to the 2015 format would cause more confusion that good:
“We came out in Melbourne and Bahrain, have been here this weekend, with that new 2016 format and I think the belief is that just going back to 2015 will create more confusion than is necessary”
It is clear from Australia and here in Bahrain that the current format is not working, and possibly to save face F1 chiefs have decided the best option now is to come up with an all new regime. But when something was not broken in the first place, you have to ask why try and fix it?