Formula One: ‘Should’ is the operative word

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The FIA confirmed unanimous approval from the F1 commission to introduce the much discussed new qualifying system from the Australian Grand Prix on Friday.  Within the announcement the FIA have used precautionary wording around the introduction stating:

‘The World Motor Sport Council approved the new qualification format, the principles of which were unanimously accepted by the F1 Commission. The new system should be introduced for the first round of the 2016 FIA Formula One World Championship’

The full details of the new system are detailed below with a link to the FIA confirmation.

In order for the new qualifying format to be introduced several hurdles are yet to be overcome, including development and simulation of modified software required to support both practical implementation and broadcasting of the process. Formula One management have highlighted this possible issue, but appear confident a solution will be found in time for the first qualifying session of the year.

Teams and drivers face a number of hurdles in the coming weeks in determining how best to approach the session and how to adapt their strategy including tyre selection for the race weekend. Many have expressed displeasure that it has not been possible to achieve clarity in such a regulation so close to the beginning of the season

It should be remembered however, that the purpose of the change in qualifying process is an attempt to not only improve race weekend coverage for mid field teams but also introduce an element of jeopardy to a race weekend.

FIA ANNOUNCEMENT:

FIA Formula One World Championship

Qualifying

The World Motor Sport Council approved the new qualification format, the principles of which were unanimously accepted by the F1 Commission. The new system should be introduced for the first round of the 2016 FIA Formula One World Championship.

The new elimination-style format:

–        Q1

  • 16 minutes
  • After 7 minutes, slowest driver eliminated
  • Slowest driver eliminated every 1 minute 30 seconds thereafter until the chequered flag
  • 7 drivers eliminated, 15 progress to Q2

–        Q2

  • 15 minutes
  • After 6 minutes, slowest driver eliminated
  • Slowest driver eliminated every 1 minute 30 seconds thereafter until the chequered flag
  • 7 drivers eliminated, 8 progress to Q3

–        Q3

  • 14 minutes
  • After 5 minutes, slowest driver eliminated
  • Slowest driver eliminated every 1 minute 30 seconds thereafter until the chequered flag
  • 2 drivers left in final 1 minute 30 seconds

The final elimination in each session occurs at the chequered flag – not when time is up.

The wording of the Sporting Regulations relating to this new qualifying format will be submitted to the F1 Strategy Group and F1 Commission.

Link to FIA Statement

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3 thoughts on “Formula One: ‘Should’ is the operative word”

  1. I’ve read very little comment about running out of tyres !
    Will they simply be allocated more?
    How does this modification fit in with the new tyre allocation for a race weekend and the complications about three tyres one in Q2 for race etc etc or has that been forgotten?

    Has anyone forseen any other problems, have you heard any concerns from the teams? Has anyone done a simulated qualifying based on last years’ qualifying at the various tracks.
    Or is it simply that no one knows and that is the deliberate policy in order to try to mix things up?
    Why not simply do away with qualifying and let the drivers choose at random from a pack of cards ? I think that Bernie would go for that one as long as the red ones are marked!

    Like

    1. There will be no change in tyre allocation allowance or nominated tyres at any given event.

      Teams have already confirmed compound selection for early races and are unable to change.

      Session simulations would be for teams not drivers. The running of a session is unlikely to change dramatically other than ALL drivers will be looking to set a time in the opening minutes of a session rather than waiting for the track to rubber in.

      Drivers do not have to be on circuit when the elimination process begins. They can still do one run and sit in the pits.

      Similar to the introduction of a third tyre compound this season, I imagine teams may take 1-2 races to adapt. After that the optimal approach will be clear, and all teams will do the same.

      Like

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