Bernie Ecclestone says Formula 1 is “not putting on a very good show” at present, but wants to give the new elimination qualifying format another chance.
F1’s governance has come under scrutiny following the move to elimination-style qualifying which produced an almost universally negative reaction in Australia. The Grand Prix Drivers Association voiced its concerns over the sport’s future last week and Ecclestone says fans are not getting value from F1 at present.
"We are not putting on a very good show,” Ecclestone told the BBC. "Imagine if people turned up to watch the Rolling Stones and Mick (Jagger) couldn't sing and the others couldn't play their instruments.”
However, Ecclestone wants the new qualifying format to be given a second chance as he wants to find a way of mixing up grids.
“I mean I got criticised as you may or may not know, by saying that I wouldn’t buy a ticket to watch a race, and the reason I said that is because if I want to go and see any particular sport I don’t want to know the result before I go,” he told Sky Sports. “I think it was a fair chance last year that you knew Lewis [Hamilton] was going to be on pole and win the race.
“Let’s muddle up the grid so that when… The idea was that hopefully Lewis and one or two of the hot shoes would be starting further down. Lewis helped us in Melbourne because on the first lap he came through in seventh, it made a good race.”
Asked why qualifying was not changed back to its previous format, Ecclestone replied: “Because we thought firstly you need a unanimous agreement of all the competitors in the championship which we never got and secondly we thought let’s give it a try and see; maybe we were a little bit unlucky with what we thought was going to happen.”