F1 bosses fail to reach agreement on qualifying

Veteran commercial ring-master Bernie Ecclestone left the talks without any immediate comment after Formula One bosses were locked in stalemate over calls for a return to the previously successful structure after the failure of the new 'elimination' system.

Bernie Ecclestone is against trashing the new qualifying format introduced this season.   -  Getty Images

Formula One bosses met for 90 minutes on Sunday but were unable to reach agreement on a future format for qualifying. Veteran commercial ring-master Bernie Ecclestone left the talks without any immediate comment after they were locked in stalemate over calls for a return to the previously successful structure after the failure of the new 'elimination' system.

Mercedes motorsport chief Toto Wolff said that several options for the future had been proposed, but without gaining the necessary unanimous support. "We haven't reach a conclusion on how we want to continue yet," he explained. "We have agreed to discuss matters internally and then talk again next week."

All the teams were represented at the meeting attended also by Ecclestone, the president of the ruling body, the International Motoring Federation (FIA), Jean Todt and tyres suppliers Pirelli.

Opposition

The teams have agreed that they want to see a reversion to the previously successful qualifying as used until the end of last season, but there is opposition to this plan. Saturday's qualifying session for Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix was run using the 'new' progressive elimination qualifying system introduced without success at the Australian Grand Prix.

It produced another unsatisfactory session with long periods of inactivity. The teams again called for the system to be ditched and hoped this would be achieved on Sunday.

Instead, all involved have agreed to talk again on Thursday after evaluating more complex proposals put forward by Todt. He and Ecclestone are reluctant to dump the new system. Wolff said: "We discussed the various qualifying formats and what the FIA and the Commercial Rights Holders would want to propose. It's various new formats - or staying with the current format."

The sport requires unanimous support from teams, the FIA, Ecclestone and other parties to make a change to the rules.