Wolff: F1 must revert to last year's qualifying format


Mercedes principal Toto Wolff believes nothing should get in the way of Formula One reverting to last year's qualifying format ahead of a meeting with team bosses on Sunday. 

A new qualifying format debuted at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix proved to be a massive flop a fortnight, with fans, pundits and officials blasting the unnecessary rule change. 

The same format has remained in place for this week's Bahrain GP, with the same dire effect, but Wolff is expecting the meeting to draw positive results and a rule change for the next race in China. 

"When I have spoken to [FIA president] Jean Todt last week he said he wanted to approach it in a structured way and he thinks that Q1 and Q2 there is maybe something to learn and therefore he'd rather go for the hybrid version once again to find out if it's all bad, and if we realise that it's all bad then probably the most realistic scenario is to go back to the 2015 scenario," Wolff said.

"I think we are not in a position any more now that we have run it twice to do experiments for Shanghai, because we would look like fools.

"Maybe there is a different format that could be interesting and today I have heard somebody mentioning that there could be a single lap shootout with the last eight drivers.

"Honestly I think that could be interesting. I remember the FIA GT did this ten years ago and it was very exciting with lots of TV time for the car on track, but again I think we need to properly assess this.

"If we found out that all the data and all the information will make it look like an interesting format then we should implement it in the rules and race it next year. But in a structured way."

Defending champion Lewis Hamilton will start from pole on Sunday, followed by Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.