Date: 25th February 2016 at 9:32am
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Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton, Felipe Massa and Daniel Ricciardo have all voiced their opinion on the new concept for Qualifying.

While you will struggle to find anyone of the belief that the current Formula One qualifying format doesn’t work, the F1 Commission have unanimously voted in favour of revamping it.

These changes could be introduced as early as Australia next month for the 2016 Formula One World Championship season opener.

The thought behind the tweaks are to hopefully make the grid on a Sunday less predictable.

Qualifying will still be made up of three sessions, but the eliminations could now take place at 90 second intervals during the session instead of at the end of the timed period.

This has the potential to catch drivers out and force a surprise elimination, which could see a favourite for the race start towards the back of the grid.

Motorsport purists believe it’s gimmicky, but the powers-that-be are chasing viewing figures and they want drama and entertainment however they can grasp it.

‘The idea really is that it will be the same as qualifying in wet conditions, Maybe one or two of the hot-shoes aren’t going to make it [to the front]. So we won’t see the obvious on the front of the grid.’ Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone told Sky Sports.

But what do the drivers think?

‘I don’t know if it I like it or not, I need to have a little bit of time to sit down and understand the rules, understand the change.

‘The only thing I understand is that they want to create some chaos – and this will happen for sure.’
Williams driver Felipe Massa told the BBC.

Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo said: ‘It might put a little bit more pressure on us to execute the lap early in the session because after five minutes or something they’re going to start ticking them off.’

Three-time champion Lewis Hamilton said: ‘I don’t really feel like it is going to change much.’

Williams chief technical officer Pat Symonds doesn’t agree with Hamilton and believes the changes will shake-up the grid.

He told motorsport.com: ‘I don’t think it’s going to improve qualifying itself, in fact I think there’s a danger qualifying might not be as exciting, it may not build up to that final crescendo.

‘But what it has a good chance of doing is improving the race.


He continued: ‘I think all of us are going to make mistakes, especially early on and that means there will be occasions when cars are out of position.

‘We will see some of the quicker cars a bit further back, and we all know that’s given us some great races in the past.’

 

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