Pirelli reserves judgement on qualifying u-turn

Pirelli’s Paul Hembery isn’t convinced that scrapping Formula 1’s new qualifying format is currently the best way forward for the sport.

Following last Saturday’s truncated session in Melbourne, which led to most drivers sitting out Q3 in a bid to preserve tyres, Bernie Ecclestone called on team bosses  to meet on Sunday morning in the paddock where the group effectively decided to revert to the old qualifying system.

But the move still requires a unanimous vote by the Strategy Group and the F1 Commission, and Pirelli’s Hembery, who sits on the F1 Commission, appears to be currently at odds with return to the prior qualifying scheme.

“We haven’t heard all of the arguments,” Hembery

“There were a number of positives and negatives from the qualifying. I think Q3 needed improving – as not having cars running was unanimously seen by fans and the viewers as negative.

“But that could be easily resolved by going back to last year’s Q3 running, so there is no elimination process.”

Despite all the negatives, Pirelli’s motor sport boss underlined a few positive aspects generated by the new format.

“I think the one thing that did come from qualifying was that it had an impact on the race, which was the original motive as explained to us as F1 Commission members.

“We sat in one meeting and were given one argument that the change was due to a need to add an extra element to the race strategy.

“It delivered that on many levels. If that is no longer required, then we need to hear the arguments.”

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AS IT HAPPENED: 2016 Australian Grand Prix 

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