After much criticism from all the Drivers and Team Bosses regarding the new qualifying format for 2016 it was announced shortly after the Australian Grand Prix that for the Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying would resort back to the 2015 format
However during the week it was announced that the new 2016 qualifying format will be reinstated for the Bahrain Grand Prix to see if the Australian farce was a once off. Under the new system, drivers are eliminated from Q1, Q2 and Q3 at 90 second intervals after seven, six and five minutes respectively in each knockout session, with a view to shaking up the grid for race day.
New qualifying format
Q1: 16 minute session. After seven minutes, the slowest driver is eliminated, a process which continues every one minute 30 seconds thereafter until chequered flag. Seven drivers eliminated.
Q2: 15 minute session. After six minutes, the slowest driver is eliminated, a process which continues every one minute 30 seconds thereafter until chequered flag. Seven drivers eliminated.
Q3: 14 minute session. After five minutes the slowest driver is eliminated, a process which continues every one minute 30 seconds thereafter, resulting in two drivers in a battle for pole position in the final one minute and 30 seconds.
Formula 1 team bosses met with FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting ahead of the race, during which they tentatively agreed to switch back to the old format, used from 2006-2015, for the second round. However, this still had to be ratified and, during a crunch vote on Thursday, the required unanimous agreement was not reached, and the system will stay in place for further evaluation at next weekend's Sakhir event. "The outcome I think is that we are going to stay as we are," Ecclestone explained to news agency Reutersfollowing Thursday's vote. "After Bahrain, we're going to have a look at it." The Drivers Association (GPDA) wrote a formal open letter to the F1 Stakeholders and Fans Suggesting that they make the appropriate changes to the sport.
We would like to request and urge the owners and all stakeholders of Formula One to consider restructuring its own governance. The future directions and decisions of F1, be they short or long term, sporting, technical or business orientated should be based on a clear master plan. Such plan should reflect the principles and core values of Formula One. View full letter here
Ecclestone has since responded with a letter of his own, commenting that he agreed with the drivers' general standpoint, while also asking for them to put forward potential solutions.
It is easy to analyse what is wrong so why not think and come back on this. At least it is better to think before you wish. View full letter here
We now look to see how the outcome of the next round of qualifying.
Source: GpUpdate, ESPNF1
Photo: Scuderia Ferrari