New F1 qualifying format delayed


Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that the introduction of a proposed new qualifying system in Formula One is set to be delayed until the Spanish Grand Prix.

The FIA this week announced plans to alter qualification by bringing into effect an elimination format, potentially in time for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix next month.

That prompted a mixed reaction from drivers and teams this week but F1 supremo Ecclestone said the new format will be used this season.

However, he also revealed the changes will not be brought in for the first race of the season in Melbourne.

Ecclestone told The Independent: "The new qualifying won't happen [in Melbourne] because we can't get everything together in time,

"It was going to come in at the start of this year but we are not going to be able to get all the software done in time. 

"So the qualifying changes will probably be in Spain [in May]. In Australia, it will be the old qualifying. All of the software has to be written, so it's not easy."

Ecclestone added that he was not behind the idea to change the format of qualifying.

He added: "It's not what I wanted in the end.

"All I'm trying to do is muddle up the grid so that the guy that is quickest in qualifying doesn't sit on pole and disappear because why should he be slow in the race if he is quick in qualifying?"