Timeline: Why qualifying wasn't changed for Bahrain

This has been a tricky thing to keep on top of, but this weekend when you're at a BBQ with friends or posting online about how rubbish F1 is at the moment you will at least have the facts in your hot little pocket.

So, as far as I can understand, this is how we got in to this qualifying mess and why we haven't cleaned it up yet:

  1. To spice up qualifying (and thus the race), FIA President Jean Todt and FOM Mogul Bernie Ecclestone decide to change the format for 2016. 
  2. Two options are put to the teams, their unanimous support is needed to change the format; Todt proposes elimination qualifying, Ecclestone proposes applying time penalties for the top finishers from the previous race. 
  3. The teams proposed changes to the elimination system where Q1 and Q2 are elimination but Q3 remains the same as the old format, Todt refuses the idea.
  4. Faced with these options, teams unanimously vote for elimination qualifying, despite their doubts that it will be successful. 
  5. Australian qualifying session plays out and the system is universally declared a toilet, apart from Todt who came up with the format.  Toto Wolff tells the media that the teams supported change in the sport but voted for the "least worst option".
  6. On the Sunday after qualifying, teams meet informally and vote unanimously to change qualifying back to the old format effective immediately. Ecclestone is not present but expresses his opinion via proxy and agrees with the teams that this is best.
  7. Meeting of the F1 Commision (Todt, Ecclestone, Pirelli, various other big spenders and all of the teams) where Todt suggests changing the elimination qualifying so that Q3 runs in the traditional format. The option to go back to 2015 qualifying is not put forward and again unanimity is required to change the format.
  8. Some teams vote for changing to the new hybrid format, while some including Red Bull, McLaren and Williams vote against it.
  9. Without a unanimous decision the format can not be changed, therefore the qualifying format we had in Australia remains in Bahrain, and will remain until a unanimous vote is reached or more popular options are presented at future meetings. 

This is obviously put together without the opinion of Todt, but it does shed light on why some actions that seem glaringly obvious have not been taken.

At least this time we know what to expect from qualifying in Bahrain, and although we won't be excited about it - the shock will be partially diminished.