F1 qualifying unlikely to change

Despite suggestions that Q3 drivers who do not set a time in order to conserve tyres are spoiling the spectacle, it is unlikely that F1's qualifying format will change next year.

McLaren team principal and FOTA president Martin Whitmarsh said: "There has been debate about whether there should be extra tyres for Q3 based on people tactically choosing not to run. But, generally, the teams think that qualifying is quite an interesting format now.

"The feeling is that we need to exercise caution before we change something that on the pit wall, is pretty gripping. Q1 and the prospect of going through it on the harder tyre makes is quite tantalising for the top teams. And, by the time the middle teams have got through to Q3, typically they have done more running than some of the faster teams, so the consensus is that we don't need to change the format."

Whitmarsh's opposite number at Mercedes, Ross Brawn, whose drivers Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher are sometimes among those who elect not to run, added: "I think qualifying is very exciting and that by Q3 the focus is on the front and that the tactical element is another dimension. The fact that some don't run, I don't think, is very significant."

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