Ferrari unsure it can 'accept' qualifying change

Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne says the team is not sure it can accept the recent tweaks to Formula One's qualifying system.

Last week F1 teams approved a plan to change the current qualifying procedure to a live elimination format for the upcoming season. The proposed format would see the slowest driver drop out of qualifying every 90 seconds across three sessions, leaving a two-car showdown for pole position in the final minute and a half.

However, its introduction has been delayed until the fifth race of the season because the necessary timing software needed is currently unavailable. Marchionne is not convinced by the planned changes and hints other teams on the grid share Ferrari's apprehension.

"I think we need more discussions about the new qualifying format," Marchionne is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com. "We must be careful not to upset the system. I'm not sure Ferrari can accept Bernie's ideas. We need to understand it better -- and I don't think every team agrees with the proposal."

The qualifying format was shaken up in a bid to make Formula One races more exciting with mixed up grids. Williams technical director Pat Symonds predicted the new system will lead to upsets on Saturday afternoon, though others have reacted negatively to the proposed change.