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Last Updated: Saturday, 6 March, 2004, 08:34 GMT
F1 boss slates new format
Bernie Ecclestone
Ecclestone says qualifying was changed for the wrong reasons
Michael Schumacher and Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone have criticised the sport's new qualifying format.

Schumacher, who is on pole position in Australia, said the new two-part session was "not interesting".

Ecclestone said he wanted a return to the arrangement where cars qualify together rather than one at a time.

"That would be much more exciting, in my opinion," Ecclestone told BBC Five Live, adding that the change was a misguided bid for more TV coverage.

Ecclestone added: "It wasn't done to make it more exciting, it was done because the teams with the smaller budgets that weren't up front said they never got seen during qualifying because people concentrated on the fast cars.

"I said that's complete nonsense because if people don't want to watch, they won't watch."

The one-lap format was introduced last year, when there was one session on Friday which determined the order in which cars ran in the decisive Saturday session.

For this year, the Friday session has been moved so the two sessions run back to back.

Cars go out in the first session in the order in which they finished the previous race.

The order from the first session is then reversed to determine the slots for the final run.

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