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Published: 12:36 | 19/3/16

F1 could abandon new qualifying system

Chaotic scenes in Melbourne

Formula One bosses could be set to abandon new qualifying rules following farcical scenes ahead of the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

The new rules, introduced this year, are intended to create more uncertainty in the qualifying process and see one car eliminated every 90 seconds in the latter half of the first two qualifying segments.

But, following chaotic scenes in Melbourne during the qualifying session, it is clear that they haven't worked as teams opted to post early flying laps and then keep their cars in their garages to preserve their tyres for race day.

However, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone admitted that he is reluctant to revert to the old system despite clear frustration among the various team chiefs.

"If we go back, Mercedes would be first and second," he said.

"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."

But Mercedes chief Toto Wolff feels the new system should be scrapped, describing it as "rubbish".

"I think the new qualifying format is pretty rubbish. We need to discuss it. Everyone is trying to do their best to improve the show and if we haven't we need to discuss it," he commented.

"The solution is not good in my opinion and that is why we have to look at it again."

Red Bull boss Christian Horner was equally unimpressed, adding: "It didn't really work and we should apologise to the fans here. We didn't put on a great show.

"We need to learn from it. The important things is not to stick our head in the stands, address it properly first. I would prefer to go back to the qualifying sessions we had, but that is my personal opinion."

But all the controversy didn't seem to affect reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton who secured the 50th pole of his career.

"I really have to take my hat off to this team - what they have done to raise the bar once more. It inspires and motivates me," the Mercedes driver said.

"I enjoyed driving the car in qualifying, got the set-up just right. They were some sexy laps, beautiful rhythm, it felt so good. I felt like James Brown at the end of the lap."


By: Kieran O'Daly

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