Formula 1 looks set to abandon the controversial new elimination qualifying system in the wake of heavy criticism after its introduction at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix. F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone admitted it had not worked, but said he was reluctant to revert to the old system.
The 85-year-old wants to introduce an element of uncertainty in the hope it will hinder Mercedes’ domination. Teams are expected to meet in Melbourne today to discuss what to do next.
The new system sees the slowest car knocked out every 90 seconds in the second part of each of three sessions.
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said the previous system – where the slowest six cars were eliminated at the end of each of the first two sessions before a final top 10 shootout – should return for the next race in Bahrain on 1-3 April.
After Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg qualified at the front at Albert Park, Ecclestone said: “If we go back, Mercedes would be first and second.
“What I don’t want to see is where you and I could predict how the grid is going to be for the start of a race, and how that race is going to finish.”
Teams advised the governing body that the new system would result in no cars on track at the end of the final session as a result of people running out of tyres – and that is exactly what happened.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who was third, had time to change out of his overalls into jeans and team kit before the post-qualifying news conference after only doing one run in the final session.
But Ecclestone said he would prefer to retain parts of the old system and then have a way of demoting the fastest drivers on the grid.
PREMIER LEAGUE RESULTS & FIXTURES
Everton 0 – 2 Arsenal
Chelsea 2 – 2 West Ham
Crystal Palace 0 – 1 Leicester
Watford 1 – 2 Stoke
West Brom 0 – 1 Norwich
Swansea 1 – 0 Aston Villa
Newcastle vs Sunderland 2:30
Southampton vs Liverpool 2:30
Man City vs Man United 5pm
Tottenham vs Bournemouth 5pm