MEXICOCITY (Reuters) – Formula One has given up on plans to have three reverse-grid qualifying races next season, the sport’s managing director Ross Brawn said on Saturday.
The experiment would have seen regular Saturday qualifying replaced with a short race, with drivers lining up in reverse championship order with the overall points leader last. The results would then set the grid for Sunday’s race.
Brawn told the official Formula One website ahead of Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix that two of the 10 teams had voted against.
He did not identify the teams.
“The current governance system means we need unanimity to carry any decisions through to next year,” said the Briton, a former Ferrari technical director and ex-principal of the title-winning Brawn GP team that is now Mercedes.
“The teams initially said they would agree with it and then two teams put their hand up at the last meeting and said they wouldn’t agree with it.”
Brawn said he had liked the idea although drivers were nervous.
“It’s frustrating that we’ve not been able to do that but I think that’s, unfortunately, the classic problem with Formula One,” he said.
Formula One qualifying takes place in three phases over an hour on Saturday under the current format.
Five of the slowest cars are eliminated at the end of each of the first two phases with pole decided in a final session with 10 cars.
Racing Point team principal Otmar Szafnauer had expressed reservations about the experimental format.
“We have to answer a lot of questions … what happens if you crash in the qualifying race, we then have to carry more spares, who’s going to pay for it, engine mileage might be a little different, tyre usage,” he said last month.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by Sandra Maler)