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Ecclestone open to Saturday F1 race in place of qualifying

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Formula 1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone says that an extra race could be added to the grand prix weekend schedule on Saturdays in place of qualifying from 2017.

Earlier this week, Ecclestone and FIA president Jean Todt backed down in plans to alter qualifying for the next race in China following the failure of the elimination format used in Bahrain and Australia.

The 11 F1 teams unanimously agreed to revert to the 2015-style qualifying, but talks will continue this year in a bid to revise Saturdays for the 2017 season.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Ecclestone confirmed that different options have been considered for qualifying, saying that a race could be held to decide the grid.

“We’ve been looking. Basically more the qualifying than anything,” Ecclestone said.

“Maybe having a race on the Saturday which would count instead of qualifying, for example.”

Ecclestone did add that any changes would not be implemented until next season, meaning the 2015 format will remain in place.

“We’re looking at all these things, which would be for next year obviously,” Ecclestone said.

“We’ve made a big enough muck up to do that for this year so must not do that again.”

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”