So Formula 1 got there in the end. After two wholly unsuccessful and unpopular public experiments, elimination qualifying has now – seemingly – been eliminated itself. Its a common-sense decision to go back to how qualifying was because the new format was universally unpopular, says Sky Sports F1 commentator David Croft.Even if it is a good idea, its not going to get the chance to work if everybody hates it. The united stance taken by the teams to overcome Jean Todt and Bernie Ecclestones reluctance to revert to the 2015 rules has been applauded, but what does the episode mean for future attempts to spice up the sports spectacle - and what can F1 learn from it?Why qualy was changedSpeaking before the elimination system fell flat for the second time in Bahrain last weekend, Bernie Ecclestone explained the reasons behind tinkering with qualifying in the first place.[The thinking was] lets muddle up the grid, the F1 impresario said in an interview with Sky F1. The idea was that, hopefully, Lewis and one or two of the hot shoes would be starting further down. Lewis helped up us in Melbourne because on the first lap he came through seventh, it made a good race. Ted Kravitz interviews F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone on F1 Qualifying and other topics People like things to be a little bit more pure, which is right. And Id like to see the racing as it was. Its not pure when you had 38 races of which Mercedes were first in 32 of them. Not really.F1 Qualifying returns to 2015 formatEcclestone insists he has no beef with the fact its Mercedes enjoying all the success - we dont want to stop Mercedes winning, they have done an incredible job that is unbelievable - but argues if I want to go and see any particular sport I dont want to know the result before I go.His viewpoint is unlikely to have changed since the world champions notched up their 34th victory in 40 races last Sunday.Teams to look again at qualifyingWhile they may have won the argument over qualifying for the rest of this season, teams did offer a concession to Ecclestone and Todt in their letter by stating they were willing to evaluate other systems for next season.The FIA later confirmed Jean Todt and Bernie Ecclestone welcomed the idea put forward by the teams to have a global assessment of the format of the weekend for 2017. The good thing to come out of this is that the teams stuck together and showed unity, says Croft. The governing body and commercial rights holder listened to the teams, took their views on board, and have gone back.But, by doing that, they have secured the cooperation of the teams as well to trial new ideas later in the season if the championships finished. The teams have also expressed a willingness to experiment with new qualifying formats.So, by going back, its not a backwards step for the FIA or commercial rights holder because the teams have now said well cooperate with you, just show us in advance what you want to do.Should F1 still be open to change?While the technical and sporting regulations may have regularly changed - and sometimes changed back - over the decades, the race weekend format of Friday practice, Saturday qualifying and Sunday race has remained largely untouched.But, as discussed at Strategy Group level last summer, is it time to think outside the box in terms of adding value for fans throughout the three-day race weekend? Jean Todt talks about the promoters wanting Formula 1 more exciting on a Saturday, so could we not bring qualifying forward and maybe hold it on a Friday, or Saturday morning, before a reverse grid sprint race on a Saturday? pondered Croft. What is to stop the sport having two races over the weekend?Teams might say that puts an extra stress and strain on the crew - and that might be a valid argument - but its something that should be looked at. Then you look at how you get round the arguments, you dont just dismiss it.Get Sky F1: Every 2016 race liveDont touch the Grand Prix. Its the blue riband of motorsport and you shouldnt touch it because it works and the racings been brilliant so far this year. But that doesnt mean there isnt room for something else on a Grand Prix weekend.Time to try ideas outIntroduced just two weeks before the new season began, its probably little wonder that a new qualifying format so conclusively failed to hit the mark straight away.No doubt wary of a high-profile repeat further down the line, teams have said they are prepared to trial any new ideas out first - potentially as early as the end of the season if the championship is wrapped up before the final round.But what is stopping F1 experimenting with a sprint race or qualifying format before then, away from the race weekend? I dont buy the idea we have to go live with it before testing something, added Croft. I didnt buy that with qualifying. There are two in-season tests, at Barcelona and Silverstone, and there can probably be a test at Abu Dhabi if its needed.What is there to stop the sport trialling a sprint race in one of those tests? You could invite the media for instant comment. You can have fans there - its a trial. You dont even have to do it with the race drivers. Just try it.Theres enough money in the sport to pay the teams to come and do a sprint race test and evaluate it properly. Then, while youre at it, evaluate a qualifying system in the morning as well.Change for changes sake?While it could be argued that F1s powerbrokers already have enough on their plate where 2017 is concerned, with the final aerodyanamic and power unit rules still not signed off and the deadline pushed back to April 30, do the action-packed opening two race days of 2016 actually show there isnt anything wrong with the spectacle as it stands?Croft added: Behind the scenes people should take the time to work out what could be better for 2017. But, during those six to eight months, if the racing continues to be as good as it is at the moment then you have to ask yourself the question why do you want to change? Sky Sports News Craig Slater reveals that F1 qualifying will return to the 2015 style format, starting at the Chinese GP Are you changing the qualifying system for the sake of changing it or changing it to make the racing better? The whole idea has come about to make the racing better but, if the racings good, why are you changing qualifying?You cant rush things and make these hasty decisions. You go back to 2014 and Luca di Montezemolo talking about racing for taxi drivers and then turning up in Bahrain ready to slate F1 and the new engine formula, but then having to leave the race early and miss the climax to one of the most thrilling races Ive ever commented on.Were looking at the negatives and you fail to see the positives there. Dont change for changes sake.After the debacle of elimination qualifying, F1s next move most certainly must be a wise one. Whens the Chinese GP on Sky? Full TV schedule and how you can watch on Sky Sports Also See: Qualifying returns to 2015 format The F1 Gossip Column Rodger Saffold Jersey
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