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Home > Sports > Formula One > Reuters > Report

No chance of qualifying change for Silverstone

July 06, 2004 15:06 IST

Formula One's governing body has dismissed a move by commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone to change qualifying for Sunday's British Grand Prix.

"The discussion has just begun and it will not be possible for the voting procedures to be completed in time for Silverstone," said an International Automobile Federation (FIA) spokesman on Tuesday.

The 10 teams agreed last month to change the qualifying format for the rest of the season from Sunday's race but the decision was rejected at a meeting of the FIA's Formula One commission in London last week.

However, revised documents were circulated at last weekend's French Grand Prix seeking to reinstate the proposal to scrap the current single lap format and replace it with two 25-minute free-for-all sessions. Grid positions would then be determined by an aggregate time.

"All teams signed for the new deal but then a couple defected," Tuesday's British newspapers quoted Ecclestone as saying. "I've told them that they are grown men and shouldn't have signed something if they didn't mean it.

"They've made us all look stupid so we shall have to see if they reconsider. We are looking to have it for this weekend and all the software is fired up and ready to go."

Qualifying has been problematic for some time. It has been modified twice already since the end of last season but remains far from satisfactory for broadcasters and spectators with just one car on the track at a time.

Ecclestone said that he still favoured a simple ballot, an idea he has raised in the past.

"If we want a different grid every race, then have a ballot," he told the Times. "You would have the same eight point-scoring positions for qualifying as you have for the championship. A good guy who is quick has the points in his pocket.

"Then the ballot -- which is the same for everybody so you don't penalise the guy who is quick. The fastest may be lucky and be on pole or he may be at the back of the grid."

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