By Adam Tate, Managing Editor
All 11 Formula One teams have come together and drafted a unanimous letter to FIA President Jean Todt, Bernie Ecclestone and CVC Capital Partners, demanding a return to the 2006-2015 qualifying format.
The letter makes it clear that the teams want the disastrous elimination format dropped immediately and that any ideas of aggregate qualifying Ecclestone may have, are not wanted either.
It is easily the strongest show of force from the teams on a single issue in some time and something that team bosses and drivers are unified on and the fans are backing them up on it. So often Bernie plays various factions against one another, but this time his pulling of the strings may finally have his hands tied. If he and Todt continue to push aggregate qualifying or the elimination format, it will inevitably weaken his position at the top of the sport.
As ever in F1, decisions that should wholly be focused on the sporting side of things and sliding ever more into political waters.
For once, this may be a good thing. CVC is seriously considering selling their majority share in the sport, Ecclestone’s leadership is coming under increasing scrutiny and Jean Todt’s inaction only empowers the growing voices of discontent clamoring for change.
Change that is desperately needed in F1 and will eventually come. The continued row over qualifying may be just the first domino to fall in a much larger, messier picture.