F1 drivers not in favour of qualifying revamp, says Sergio Perez
Drivers met with FIA's Charlie Whiting and voiced concerns planned revamp would make qualifying "more complicated" for fans
By James Galloway in Barcelona
Last Updated: 05/03/16 10:50am
F1's drivers have voiced their opposition to the sport's proposed qualifying revamp as uncertainty reigns over whether the changes will be introduced in full.
The FIA announced last week the F1 Commission had voted 'unanimously' to make changes to the knockout qualifying system from potentially as early as this season, with drivers to be eliminated from sessions more regularly than is currently the case.
However, within days of the announcement, Bernie Ecclestone suggested the new rules might be delayed until May's Spanish GP - the fifth round of the 2016 season.
On Tuesday, it then emerged that the original idea could be watered down, with only Q1 and Q2 featuring 90-second eliminations while Q3 would stay as it is, albeit with eight cars instead of the current 10 running in the final phase.
The majority of drivers - including Kimi Raikkonen, Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg - met with FIA race director Charlie Whiting in the paddock on Wednesday evening to talk through the planned changes.
And Force India's Sergio Perez revealed they made their concerns known.
"We felt that it can definitely mess up the rules and for the fans it could be quite difficult to understand," Perez told Sky Sports News HQ as the drivers left the meeting.
"It's complicated for us already, so for the fans it will make things more and more complicated. We feel that the qualifying at the moment is really good and I don't think there's a reason to change that."
Several drivers had earlier aired similar views about the need to shake up Saturdays in the first place.
"I find it quite strange that there is a change to qualifying," Williams' Valtteri Bottas told Sky Sports.
"I haven't heard anyone complaining about it. I'm fine with whatever system it is but l don't know what the point is."
Sauber's Felipe Nasr added: "I don't think there was ever an issue about the qualifying format."
The final legislative body in the F1 structure, the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC), meets on Friday and any change to qualifying for 2016 would have to be rubber-stamped in that meeting.
But while it is understood the WMSC can amend proposals passed on by the F1 Commission before they enter the rulebook, any significant revisions would have to go back to be agreed at Strategy Group and F1 Commission level.
The first race of the 2016 F1 season, the Australian GP, is exclusively live on Sky Sports F1. The race in Melbourne starts at 5am on Sunday March 20.