Ecclestone: Give elimination F1 qualifying format a chance

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Formula 1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone believes that the elimination qualifying format that met widespread criticism in Australia should be given more time.

A meeting of the F1 Commission in February decided to introduce quickfire eliminations to the existing Q1/Q2/Q3 qualifying structure from the Australian Grand Prix onwards.

However, its first running was widely slated as it only worsened the issues it was intended to fix, such as not having enough cars on track or pole being decided early.

F1 team bosses met on the Sunday of the race and decided to revert back to the 2015-style qualifying as of the second race in Bahrain next weekend.

However, amid suggestions that the eliminations could be retained for Q1 and Q2 due to pressure from Williams, Force India and Pirelli, Ecclestone has also joined the call to give the new format a second chance.

“I was confused as it was the first run and all the variables couldn’t have been predicted, like how it was decided in Q3,” Ecclestone told Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“We can improve it. If I were to give an opinion, I would say we will continue with the format from Australia.

“I am a prudent man, and new things must be tested. The new qualifying caused a bit of shock, but maybe we can salvage the good of the format.

“I am an entrepreneur and I must sell Formula 1 to the race organizers. If fans no longer watch then I have less money to give the teams.

“I have to find the best solution and having drivers eliminated every 90 seconds could be exciting.”