Ecclestone open to Saturday F1 race in place of qualifying

© Getty Images

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.”