F1 to revert back to 2015 qualifying format

The 11 teams in Formula 1 sent a letter to the FIA and Formula One Management(FOM) asking the sport to revert back to 2015’s qualifying format.

The group were set to discuss a new aggregate system today but it now seems that they have reverted back to the 2015 format due to an impasse as all the teams were not interested in the new format or an aggregate system.

The thought here is that even if the aggregate system worked more smoothly than the new format, it isn’t worth trying out and damaging F1’s brand even further given the outrage from fans over mucking about with the qualifying format that has been used over the last several seasons.

Drivers were outspoken about changing the format and so were fans and now the teams are unanimous in a letter to the F1 authorities that they too will not vote for any new system aggregate or not.

The reversion is set to take place immediately. The teams and drivers were on one side of the table while FIA president Jean Todt and FOM chief Bernie Ecclestone were on the other side.

Ecclestone and Todt were trying to jumble up the grid in order to make the racing more exciting but it’s a sporting regulation tweak that seems to be an artifice on the real issues which remain in the technical regulations.

Official announcement:

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. 

This proposal, if approved by the F1 governing bodies, will take effect as from the Chinese Grand Prix and will apply for the rest of the season. 

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. 

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Paul KieferJr

I do believe that the FIA, Bernie and CVC just saved their lives. Now, on to the next battle.


You mean Bernie will get them back, I don’t think Bernie hand out free favors.


Lol. Same thought here. There will be hell to pay. That’s after the malcontents get paid for going along this time. Maybe it technically wasn’t extortion, but something like “convince me in a really serious way – F1 style – to agree.”


For once the teams agree… I’m without words.


I seem to recall similar statements being made on the Sunday morning before the Australian Grand Prix. To quote Grace, “I’ll believe it when the boxes turn up”

If it proves to be true, there will be much rejoicing.

Steven Boyd

Exactly what I was thinking MIE, and thought of Grace too! Let’s see what actually happens.

Paul KieferJr

What the teams and drivers are feeling right now:


Jason Smith

Are we actually 100% sure on this? I’ve been hurt like this before…

Andreas Möller

I won’t hold my breath… but it does look good that Todt and Bernie so graciously accept to put forth the proposal they should have put forth in the first place [said through clinched teeth]. It’s now twice (on the same issue) that the teams have spoken unanimously – that in itself is so rare, that it hardly ever happens. Now, let’s just hope Bernie and Todt haven’t put the F1 Commission and the WMC up to no good…


Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

But until then…

The Captain

Oh JOY! I can now get back to watching Alonso humiliate Johnny Herbert over and over again.

I got the feeling this power struggle hasn’t gone away though. The real head scratcher here is I actually do think the FIA should wrestle some control of the sport back from the teams. But how can you root for that when in matters like this the teams where right? Todt really blew it on this one, he picked the completely wrong battle to fight here.

Andreas Möller

I agree – I too have said for the longest time that it’s time to stop letting the lunatics (ie the teams) run the asylum, since they are always going to look to what’s best for themselves in the short run. However… not only did lightning strike twice as they (twice) unanimously agreed to something, they were also 100% correct, while FIA and FOM were the lunatics. And with the current state the FIA seems to be in – mired in constant political battles, rather than dealing with the actual “sport” part of “motorsport” – can you imagine what we’d… Read more »


Andreas: “current state the FIA seems to be in – mired in constant political battles”

Todd posts this from time to time, and I think it speaks volumes:



I hate F1. I love F1. What a sport!?

I’d say “good” about qualifying, but I said that last week and it didn’t happen.

….maybe. The formula1.com release says that Todt wants to reconsider it for 2017. Argghhh.

Off topic: Trio tickets are on sale for June 2016 Circuit G.V. Montreal. The trio tix give you a different grandstand each day. $500 USD a pop, but most definitely what I’d do if we were going this year.

But, you know, hybrid. Which I’m boycotting. Onward…..

Paul KieferJr

We have an old saying over here: “Nobody’s life, liberty or property are safe while Congress is in session.”


Lets just get rid of qualifying all together.

Then we will be one step closer to getting rid of the race.

We will finally be able to take over the world with our “Series for the Sanctioned Testing of Tyres and Pitot Tubes”.

But we will only test on Tuesday.

Once a month.

Every second year.


Man hearing this news, makes me think, if only there was a group that could fight for this stupid stuff constantly, like elimnation qualifying, DRS and the 2017 regs. A group of united teams, maybe run by someone who knows what they are talking about.

We could call it something smart, like the Formula One Teams Association, and maybe find someone who knows a bunch about the sport to spearhead it, maybe Martin Whitmarsh.


I can’t tell if this is sarcasm or not, but if it is, +1!

If it isn’t, well…


Complete sarcasm, we had this figured out and Bernie divided the teams and set all this up.


Alright let’s practice everyone, repeat after me. “if the next race sucks that has NOTHING TO DO with the change back to old qualifying. If the next race sucks that has NOTHING TO DO with the change back to old qualifying. If the next….”


“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. “

This is the only important part of this announcement, and it shows how far Todt and Mr. E. are out of touch with the actual problem.

It should read:
Jean Todt and Bernie Ecclestone welcomed the idea put forward by the teams to have a global assessment of the technical regulations to foster closer racing.