Elimination F1 qualifying set to stay for Bahrain before further review

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In an apparent backtrack from what had originally been decided the Sunday morning of the Australian Grand Prix, Formula 1’s new-for-2016 rapid-fire elimination qualifying format will stay on for at least one more race after all.

Team stakeholders had agreed to revert back to the 2015 system for Bahrain following an emergency meeting held race morning in Melbourne.

The thinking was that such a decision would pass the F1 Commission unanimously, but it now hasn’t.

The Thursday morning meeting of the 26-person F1 Commission has brought the result that rather than making an immediate knee-jerk reaction – even despite an overflow of outrage about the system – it would be better to keep the new system in play for one more race rather than make a snap decision.

Despite provisionally agreeing in Australia to return to the old qualifying format, unanimous agreement was required at the F1 Commission meeting to ratify the change.

As this was not reached, the eliminations will remain for all stages of qualifying in Bahrain next Saturday, as confirmed by F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone to Reuters.

“The outcome I think is that we are going to stay as we are,” Ecclestone said.

“After Bahrain, we’re going to have a look at it.”

Of course this decision seems to fly in the face of the GPDA drivers open letter put out on Wednesday and Ecclestone’s own agreement with it for the most part on Thursday.