After the controversial new qualifying format that debuted this weekend at the Australian Grand Prix, it appears its time is short lived and will be out as a one-and-done format.
The F1 Commission agreed in Geneva last month to add quickfire eliminations to the existing three-stage qualifying structure, with the hope being that more drivers would be on-track in the session and the grid would be more varied.
Ultimately, it only worsened the very problems it was meant to fix on Saturday in Melbourne, with pole being decided with four minutes to go in qualifying, leaving the track empty at the checkered flag.
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff called the format “rubbish”, while Red Bull’s Christian Horner said that fans were owed an apology by the sport.
An emergency meeting of team stakeholders was called in Melbourne on Sunday morning ahead of today’s 2016 season opener, resulting in unanimous agreement to revert back to the 2015 system for the second round of the season at Bahrain in two weeks time.
It was thought that the eliminations could be retained for the Q1 and Q2 stages of qualifying while reverting back to the 2015-spec Q3, as was planned for Australia at one stage.
However, the team bosses opted to discard the eliminations completely, putting an end to one of the series’ most embarrassing attempted regulation tweaks in recent years.
Although the decision still needs to be rubber-stamped by the F1 Commission – the very body that unanimously voted in favor of the elimination format – this is simply a formality.
The Australian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 12am ET on Sunday.
Luke Smith contributed to this report.