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Ecclestone slates sprint qualifying as "unneccesary confusion"

Ecclestone slates sprint qualifying as "unneccesary confusion"

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Ecclestone slates sprint qualifying as "unneccesary confusion"

Ecclestone slates sprint qualifying as "unneccesary confusion"

Former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has slated the sport for "mucking around" with sprint qualifying.

This weekend's British Grand Prix marks the inaugural sprint qualifying event, with traditional qualifying moved to Friday evening to accommodate a 100km sprint race on Saturday afternoon that will determine the final starting grid for Sunday's main event.

Speaking to the PA news agency, Ecclestone revealed his worry that the history of the sport would vanish should sprint qualifying become the norm.

"I don't agree with it," he said. "The minute you start mucking around with these things, the history disappears and that is not a good thing.

"People would say somebody has 70 pole positions but that has gone now. There is no such thing as a pole position.

"I don't think it is going to work and I don't think it will continue. It is an unnecessary confusion for no reason. Qualifying has always been an interesting part of the weekend and now we will just have another race."

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F1 to avoid elimination scenario

Ecclestone was at the helm of F1 when the sport introduced the doomed elimination qualifying sessions that lasted just two races in 2016.

Ross Brawn has insisted the new format will learn from the errors of those two sessions in Australia and Bahrain and not force through a system that doesn't work.

"We all remember the qualifying fiasco a few years ago, which luckily got corrected partway through the season," added Brawn.

"I think that was one that everyone forecast was going to be a struggle and it turned out to be.

"So, this is three events where we are going to trial this format and if it’s not a success, if we don’t get the response we hope, then we’ll put our hands up and we will stay where we are and look at other initiatives."

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