Date: 29th February 2016 at 10:53am
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Not intent with introducing a new qualifying format when the previous system was well liked.

Formula One bosses have now decided that it’s ok to start the season under one set of rules and introduce the new rules part way through.

If you were asked what would you change within Formula One to improve the sports spectacle very few would opt for qualifying.

The current qualifying system of three sessions has proved hugely popular since its introduction in 2006.

In the past Formula One has had qualifying split over two days, changed to one day and at one stage was changed to just one lap.

All had issues of either not enough running time on track, or not enough excitement.

The current three session system ensures that every driver must complete three competitive laps to progress through to the pole position shoot-out, tyre regulation tweaks over the years has also ensured that drivers do partake in the final session and do not instead opt for strategy for the race.

Overall qualifying is thought to be very entertaining and pure, with no gimmicks.

There are far more obvious pressing concerns within Formula One in need of improvement, but that did not stop the F1 Commission unanimously voting in favour of revamping it for 2016.

The problem is, due to its complex nature, the software and graphics boffins do not have enough time to implement it in time for the 2016 Formula One World Championship curtain raiser in Australia.

Instead F1 will use the current system for the opening four Grand Prix and introduce the new system at the Spanish Grand Prix in mid-May.

‘My guys who do the timing said: ‘Mr E, we don’t want to be put in the position because we don’t think we can get it done properly in time’,’ Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone told the BBC.

‘You’ve got all the graphics to go on the screen.

‘If you’re going to try and explain it to the public properly, it’s not just a case of ‘OK, the guy was the last one, bye-bye’. You can’t just do that.

‘We’ll have to deal with it. I’ve told the FIA this and asked them what they’d like to do with it but the bottom line is there’s not a lot they can do with it because we do all the timekeeping. So, that’s it.’


The new qualifying format of Formula One will retain the current three sessions, but the timings and the eliminations will alter.

Instead of drivers being eliminated at the end of each session, drivers will be knocked out at 90 second intervals during each session.

Q1 will last 16 minutes and after 7 minutes the first elimination will be made with the slowest driver knocked out. From that point onward another driver will be knocked out every 90 seconds until the session ends.

Q2 will last 15 minutes with the remaining 15 drivers taking part. After 6 minutes the first elimination will be made with the slowest driver knocked out and again from that point onward another driver would be knocked out every 90 seconds until the session ends.

Q3 will consist of just 8 drivers instead of the previous 10 and the session will increase from 10 to 14 minutes.

After 5 minutes, 8th place on the grid will be decided with the slowest driver of Q3 eliminated. Then every 90 seconds another driver will be knocked out to make up the grid.

The idea is that it will add an element of unpredictability to qualifying.

‘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.’ Bernie told Sky Sports.

 

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