Formula One’s much-criticised new qualifying format will stay in place for next week’s Bahrain Grand Prix but could change after that, commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone said on Thursday.

The new format, based on racers being progressively eliminated during the three sessions rather than at the end of each, was intended to add excitement but instead took away any suspense with no cars on track in the final minutes.

“I’m the first one to say we shouldn’t be speaking bad about things on TV, but I think the new qualifying format is pretty rubbish,” Mercedes motorsport director Toto Wolff told Sky Sports last weekend.

“The outcome I think is that we are going to stay as we are,. After Bahrain, we’re going to have a look at it.”

Ecclestone replied to them with his own letter on Thursday, saying he agreed that change was needed.

“It is not always easy to agree with you but you are correct,” he said. “We must, as you have stated, urge the owners and all stakeholders of F1 to consider restructuring its governance.”

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