Common sense has finally prevailed.
After what could be fairly described as the most farcical Mexican standoff in sporting history, Jean Todt and Bernie Ecclestone have relented to pressure and agreed that the only way forward is for Formula One to ditch the metaphorical car crash that has been elimination qualifying and revert back to the tried and tested system that has served us so well for many years.
They say there are two sides to every story. In this case you would have searched far and wide before you found anyone who was backing the beleaguered FIA president.
While the teams must share some of the blame for the fact that elimination qualifying ever saw the light of day, the fact that they realised almost immediately the scale of the disaster that had been created and united as one to have the 2015 system restored for the good of the sport can only be to their credit.
The same could not be said for Todt and Ecclestone, who, while fully aware of the negative press swirling around the paddock as a result of the decision in which they were partly complicit, persisted in defending the indefensible in what can only be described as a misplaced attempt to salvage pride.
If Todt, as he claims, had read social media and, presumably, seen how widely detested the new qualifying system was, then in what way could he possibly have believed that the shambles that had unfolded in Melbourne would not be repeated in Bahrain?
As for Ecclestone, who famously engages in shenanigans as part of wider attempts to gain the upper hand in negotiations, it is astounding that he saw this as a battle that he could win. The fact that he was not a supporter of the elimination system – instead favouring an even more confusing time ballast or a reverse grid that would have been just as reviled had they seen the light of day – makes his part in this elongated malaise all the more frustrating.
The saddest aspect to this needless saga is that it has completely overshadowed the fact that, on the track, the season has kicked off with two exciting races. Mercedes look like they might just have a fight on their hands against a promising challenge from Ferrari, and behind the top two teams the pack has bunched up to the extent that it is anybody’s guess who will occupy the rest of the spots in the top ten.
Ironically, the fact that this story has been allowed to play out for so long has done the FIA much more damage than if they had agreed to revert qualifying after Australia. Nobody likes to admit when they are wrong about something, but had humble pie been digested and the 2015 system used in Bahrain, this whole sorry mess would have been long forgotten.
The return of the much loved three-part system still has to be rubberstamped by the F1 Commission and the World Motor Sport Council, but with the FIA having now backed down, this should be a mere formality.
The most important thing now is that the sport moves on from this debacle and that focus quickly returns to the action on the track.