Determined to spice up – or dumb down, depending on one’s point of view – F1’s powers-that-be were seeking to change the qualifying format at a number of events, understood to be the French, Belgian and Russian races, next season.
However, while most of the teams were in favour of the idea, two teams were against it, and with unanimity needed the proposal was rejected.
“The current governance system means we need unanimity to carry any decisions through to next year,” said F1, managing director, Ross Brawn, according to the official F1 website. “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.
“We wanted to try a small number of races in 2020, a different format where, on a Saturday it was a reverse-grid format based on championship order and that short-format race would determine the grid order for the final race.
“I thought it was a fascinating contest,” he admitted. “The drivers were a little bit nervous, which I can understand, but we were just asking for the opportunity for three races to try the format.
“If it doesn’t work, we put our hands up; if it does work, great. If it’s something in between, we can work with that just to help us develop the format of racing, and it’s frustrating that we’ve not been able to do that but I think that’s, unfortunately, the classic problem with F1.”
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