AUGUST 26, 2004
The question of qualifying
Tony Purnell, the boss of Ford's racing activities in Formula 1, recently came up with the idea of changing qualifying in Formula 1 in order to improve the show, without affecting the purity of the sport. The concept of having qualifying races will be under discussion this week at Spa-Francorchamps and gradual persuasion of the decision-makers seems to be the order of the day, despite attempts to get the racing public to push the idea. Formula 1 people tend to react badly when they feel they are being pressured and there is no doubt that some of the opposition to Purnell's idea comes from the fact that it has been heavily promoted in the press.
The actual details of the plan remain very persuasive when one considers them carefully and it seems that Purnell is gaining support with the people who matter in the Formula 1 Commission, although one has to wait to see if they actually vote as they say they will vote when (and if) the question goes to the commission.
Purnell says that he is not interested in playing political games and believes that the idea is what is best for the sport.
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