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Published: 19:45 | 7/4/16

F1 reverts to old qualifying system

New rules scrapped for Chinese Gran Prix

Formula One is set to return to last year's qualifying system for next week's Chinese Grand Prix after teams rejected the latest proposals from the sport's top brass.

Following farcical scenes during qualifying for the first two races of the new campaign, the FIA had proposed another change to the system, this one based on aggregate times.

However, that proposal has been rejected by the various teams in a letter to FIA president Jean Todt and chief executive Bernie Ecclestone, further adding that they wished to return to the system used last year.

"Unity is the only way to overcome difficulties," a message on Ferrari's Twitter account read.

"The sport requires unanimity between the teams, Todt and Ecclestone for any rule change, so a return to the 2015 format would suggest Todt and Ecclestone have relented in the face of strong opposition.

Following a 90-minute meeting between team bosses, as well as Todt and Ecclestone, in the paddock ahead of last Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix, a new format, based on the aggregate timings of two laps in each of the three phases of qualifying, was put forward for a vote on Thursday, where it was rejected by teams.

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel was among those unimpressed with the new system.

"It's time to go to the circus. It's a good idea if you want random things to happen but Formula One should be about racing. It's a s*** idea," he siad ahead of the race in Bahrain.

His sentiments were echoed by Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo.

"Qualifying is one lap, that one perfect lap. To have an aggregate it starts to sound more like endurance racing, or something" he added. "I wouldn't be too keen on that, no."

By: Kieran O'Daly

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