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F1 bosses still unsure of qualifying format

Bernie Ecclestone speaks to the media in Bahrain. Credit: PA

Formula One's rulemakers have once again failed to reach an agreement on whether to ditch the sport's unpopular new qualifying format.

After a 90-minute meeting in the paddock ahead of Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix, the sport's team bosses, FIA president Jean Todt and chief executive Bernie Ecclestone could not reach a unanimous verdict.

It means the elimination-style format which flopped in Australia, and again in Bahrain on Saturday, could remain in place for the next race in China.

The FIA and Ecclestone tabled several new proposals in Sunday's meeting - the specifics of which have not been made public - and they will be discussed again in another meeting on Thursday.

Toto Wolff, the Mercedes boss, claimed the teams wanted to revert back to last year's format, but their suggestion was blocked by Todt.

"We can understand the challenges the FIA and the commercial rigthsholder have," Wolff said. "They said that 2015 is not acceptable for them as it was not good enough and we have to accept it.

"The main message from the team was, please no experiments."

Ecclestone: Some F1 drivers are windbags

F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone. Credit: PA

Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone has taken aim at the sport's revolting drivers by comparing them to "windbags".

Last week, the Grand Prix Drivers' Association, led by Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel, took the step of writing an open letter in which they blasted the "obsolete" and "ill-structured" governance of the sport.

But speaking on the eve of the Bahrain Grand Prix, Ecclestone issued his own retort, claiming they were put up to the outburst by their teams.

Asked if the drivers were "windbags", Ecclestone replied: "Some of them". Pressed on which drivers he was referring to, the 85-year-old said: "The ones that are".

Ecclestone continued: "They [the drivers] can say what they like can't they? They can't do anything. They can give an opinion. Everyone has got an opinion.

"So really their discussion is with their team and the team has got a voice. They are only saying what the team have told them to say."

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