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F1 Commission asked to approve quali axe

Eyes will now turn to the F1 Commission, after team bosses voted unanimously to scrap the new ‘musical chairs’ qualifying format before Bahrain.

“I think the F1 Commission will listen to our opinion, especially as it was unanimous,” Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said.

Approval by the Commission, comprised of F1’s other stakeholders like suppliers and circuits, as well as the World Motor Sport Council is necessary before the rules can be changed so suddenly.

But not everyone is convinced that simply scrapping ‘musical chairs’ in its entirety is the right thing to do.

“We are yet to hear the arguments,” Pirelli’s Paul Hembery is quoted by the Finnish broadcaster MTV, referring to the half-hour meeting of the team bosses last Sunday.

“There were positive and negative aspects.  Q3 needs improvement and everyone agrees with that,” he said, but he also thinks ‘musical chairs’ succeeded in having “an impact” on the race.

“And that was the original idea,” said Hembery.

Force India’s Bob Fernley is also critical of the decision to scrap ‘musical chairs’ on the Sunday morning after its debut.

“When the purpose (of the new qualifying) was to influence the race, how on earth could we make a decision before the race was even run?  That was my argument,” he said.

Fernley said he ultimately agreed with his colleagues, but added: “It is a pity that we’re throwing it away without ever analysing it properly.”

Wolff, however, said the idea could be revisited in the future.

“I am sure there is a way to optimise it, but I think it needs time and structure, process and analysis in order to have the right decisions,” he said.