Ecclestone: New F1 qualifying format introduction delayed

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Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that the new format for Formula 1 qualifying will not be introduced until the Spanish Grand Prix in May as the software for the timing system still needs to be written.

Earlier this week, the F1 Commission voted unanimously in favor of adding quickfire eliminations to the existing qualifying structure in a bid to shake up the grid and improve the on-track spectacle.

However, Ecclestone has now confirmed that the necessary software is not yet in place, meaning that the pre-existing qualifying system will likely remain until the Spanish Grand Prix on May 15.

“The new qualifying format won’t happen as we can’t get everything together in time,” Ecclestone told British newspaper The Independent.

“It was going to come in at the start of this year but we are not going to be able to get all the software done in time.

“So the qualifying changes will probably be in Spain. In Australia it will be the old qualifying. All of the software has to be written in and it’s not easy.”

Ecclestone also said that he did not fully support the new qualifying format, instead favoring a system whereby the fastest driver would not start from pole position.

“It’s not what I wanted in the end. All I’m trying to do is muddle up the grid so that the guy that is quickest in qualifying doesn’t sit on pole and disappear because why should he be slow in the race if he is quick in qualifying?” Ecclestone said.

“I wanted a very simple thing. I wanted qualifying to stay as it is, because it is good, and then if a guy is on pole and has won the last race he gets so many seconds added to his time so he has to fight through the bloody pack to get in the lead, which he would do in the end.

“It would be exciting racing while he is doing it.”