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Published: 16:45 | 2/4/16

Todt to meet with teams over qualifying

FIA president Jean Todt will host a meeting with F1 teams and commercial rights holders on Sunday over what qualifying format the sport should use.

The knockout format, which was used in Australia but proved a turn-off for fans, is being used in Bahrain because the teams and the FIA could not agree on a new system.

Todt will convene a meeting on Sunday which will see the teams, the FIA, rights holders and tyre manufacturer Pirelli sit down to discuss alternatives to the current system, and the Frenchman hopes agreement can be reached before the Chinese Grand Prix, which takes place on 17 April.

"It was a strong request from race promoters that qualifying was not exciting enough," said Todt.

"To change the rules in the current season you need unanimous agreement and that's what we had. [FIA race director] Charlie Whiting then organised a meeting in Barcelona with the team bosses and managers and they came with a rival to the proposal. They said 'Q1 and Q2 okay, but Q3 should be as it was in 2015'.

"It then has to go through the World Motorsport Council and I said to Charlie 'we should propose the final vote to the world council the way it is [the original proposal of all three segments changing] for the first race and if something needs to be improved we can ask after the first experience for some adjustment'.

"We know the best way to understand new regulations is to practice new regulations.

"Australia happened and in Q1 and Q2 there was no full consensus that it was bad. It was more unpredictable."

Todt accepts that Q3 was dull for the supporters in Melbourne, but blamed Ferrari for leaving an empty track in the final moments of qualifying.

"Q3 was a disappointing because for the first time for a long time you saw some drivers out of the car with three minutes of the session remaining," he said.

"We could not guess that Ferrari would stay with one set of fresh supersoft tyres rather than going on the track. It is not something we could guess."

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