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Last Updated:  Thursday, 27 March, 2003, 10:29 GMT
F1 boss criticises 'horrible' qualifying
Bernie Ecclestone
Ecclestone wants changes sooner rather than later
Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone wants the new one-lap qualifying system changed.

Ecclestone has described the new sessions as "horrible", adding that the "excitement of qualifying has gone".

His views are directly opposed to those of Max Mosley, president of motorsport's governing body, the FIA.

Mosley, who imposed the new rules before the start of this season, believes they have directly contributed to the excitement of the two opening races by mixing up the grids.

Under the new rules, drivers go out one at a time and are not allowed to refuel between qualifying and race - giving teams with slower cars the chance to qualify higher by running less fuel than the top teams.

But Ecclestone believes the old format - where cars were set up for absolute performance and drivers had several shots at setting a time in a one-hour session - was better.

The new system is not working - we are going to wait a bit longer and then we are going to change it
Bernie Ecclestone

"First, the drivers are not driving on the limit in qualifying, and then they complete only one fast lap and they return to the pits and do nothing - they can only watch.

"They don't have the chance to try to beat a rival who has better their time. There's no fighting - the excitement of qualifying has gone," he told the Brazilian new agency Agencia Estado.

However, despite Ecclestone's opposition, there seems little prospect of immediate change.

The F1 teams are meeting the FIA after the Brazilian Grand Prix next month to discuss the impact of the rule changes.

Mosley has said he expects only "procedural changes" and not major modifications to come out of the meeting.

But Ecclestone wants more drastic action.

"When you go to see the doctor and he gives you a pill and that doesn't heal you, he changes your medication.

"The new system is not working. We are going to wait a bit longer and then we are going to change it."




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