F1 fails to agree on qualifying as new proposal emerges

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Formula One bosses failed to agree on a new qualifying format during a meeting in the Bahrain paddock on Sunday, but will analyse a new proposal ahead of a further meeting on Thursday.

After widespread criticism of 2016's elimination-style qualifying, which has twice failed to excite fans or mix up the order at the front of the grid, teams met on Saturday to discuss a replacement. The team's suggestion of reverting to last year's format was rejected by the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone, with new proposals discussed ahead of further analysis this week.

In order not to rush into another flawed concept, the teams will analyse a new proposal ahead of another meeting on Thursday. The proposal is believed to retain the three separate Q1, Q2 and Q3 sessions, but rather than drivers' positions being decided over one flying lap it would instead be worked out from an aggregate of two timed laps. The system would ensure drivers spend more time on track, but tyre usage and the chances of it mixing up the grid need to be analysed.

"There's an unwillingness from the promoter and the FIA to go back to 2015," Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said. "The teams would go back, but a compromise has been put on the table for the teams to consider.

"Let's have a look at what has been put on the table today, we need to analyse it and see. The bottom line is that if we don't agree to a compromise then we are stuck with what we've got. I think that everybody agrees what we've got isn't right."

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff added that teams wanted full analysis rather than experimentation of new ideas during the next qualifying session in China.

"This was the main message from the teams: No more experiments," he said.

Pirelli's motor sport boss Paul Hembery hinted that more than one proposal was still under consideration ahead of Thursday's meeting.

"There's lots of things on the table and we have got to analyse it. We'll know by Thursday what we are going to come up with."

Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams added: "We're unified in that we need to make changes to the existing system that we have. It's far too early days to know what the result of that proposal and everyone's analysis of it will be."

Asked what the new proposal was, Williams added: "I don't want to come out and say what it is, personally, I don't know if the FIA or the commercial rights holder will. I think it's up to them if they want to come out and say it - but I think we need to understand it first before putting it on the table and creating more confusion."