Pirelli’s Paul Hembery is yet to be convinced that reverting to the old qualifying format is the best option for the sport, despite a vast majority of fans and team bosses criticising the new elimination-format.
Such was the negative reaction on Saturday, an urgent meeting was called for Sunday morning in which team bosses unanimously agreed to revert to the former system used between 2006-15 as early as the Bahrain Grand Prix in just under a fortnight.
That vote involved only team bosses. For the rule change to happen, it requires unanimous support from all memebrs of the F1 Commission which includes other stakeholders such as circuit promoters and tyre supplier Pirelli.
Pirelli’s Hembery has made it clear that he isn’t convinced that ditching the new format in its entirety is the right decision and could therefore vote against it, which would effectively block the change.
“We haven’t heard all of the arguments,” he said on the matter. “There were a number of positives and negatives from the qualifying.”
Hembery believes Q1 and Q2 were a success in that they forced teams to use tyres they otherwise wouldn’t, but agreed the anti-climatic Q3 needed tweaking.
“I think the one thing that did come from qualifying here was that it had an impact on the race, which was the original motive as explained to us as F1 Commission members.
“There were things like stopping maybe the top teams trying to qualify on what would have been the soft tyre here in Q2, which would then have allowed them to start on the soft tyre in the race,” he explained.
“Having no elimination, they would probably have gone out on the soft tyre, tried to set a time and then evaluated whether that would be sufficient to get them through. So you have to be careful.
“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 be resolved by going back to last year’s Q3 running, so there is no elimination process.”