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Qualifying set to use 2015 format from China

07 Apr 2016

Formula One qualifying is expected to return to last year’s system from next weekend’s 2016 Formula 1 Pirelli Chinese Grand Prix, it has been announced.

It follows widespread criticism of the revised elimination format used in Australia and Bahrain, which failed to produce the intended change in spectacle.

A statement from F1 governing body, the FIA, and Formula One Management (FOM) said: "At the unanimous request of the teams in a letter received today, Jean Todt, President of the FIA, and Bernie Ecclestone, commercial rights holder representative, accepted, in the interests of the Championship, to submit a proposal to the F1 Commission and World Motor Sport Council to revert to the qualifying format in force in 2015."

If approved by the F1 governing bodies, the change will take effect from the next round in Shanghai and will apply for the rest of the season. The 2015 format, which had been in place since the start of 2010, will see the six slowest cars eliminated at the end of Q1 and Q2, leaving 10 to fight it out for pole in Q3, with their grid positions based on their best lap times at the end of qualifying.

Todt and Ecclestone also welcomed the idea put forward by the teams to have a global assessment of the format of the Grand Prix weekend for 2017.