MARCH 5, 2016
Ecclestone, FIA confirm musical chairs qualifying
F1's governing body as well as Bernie Ecclestone on Friday confirmed that the 'musical chairs'-style qualifying is going ahead in full in 2016.
Throughout the week, amid Ecclestone's claims the timing software could not be written in time and dissent from the drivers, it was thought the controversial new system would be either delayed, modified, vetoed or scrapped.
But Ecclestone, the sport's chief executive, told Forbes on Friday that the software problems have been resolved and the system will be ready for Melbourne.
"It is going to be is exactly what we voted for the other day (at the F1 Commission) and we agreed," he told F1 business journalist Christian Sylt.
"We thought we wouldn't be able to write the software in time but I think we are going to be able to do that so we are ok. We have been cracking away so it is from Australia for sure," Ecclestone added.
Indeed, the new format was pushed through the FIA's World Motor Sport Council in Geneva on Friday.
"The new system should be introduced for the first round of the 2016 FIA formula one world championship," the Paris federation said in a statement, adding that the strategy group and F1 Commission will now approve the wording of the actual regulations.
Ecclestone insists that reversing the grids would have been a better plan to spice up F1, "but it's good that we are going to do something even if we don't like it".
"It might work if we knock out a few people. Having two cars at the end might work," he added.