F1 proposes convoluted knockout qualifying system (Update)


F1 is going to delay until Spain the qualifying changes that will confuse 99.9% of its fans.

(GMM) F1's new 'musical chairs' qualifying format has hit a roadblock.

Bernie Ecclestone told F1 business journalist Christian Sylt that Formula One Management's software team does not have time to prepare the system for the Melbourne season opener next month.

"The new qualifying won't happen because we can't get everything together in time," the F1 supremo said in an exclusive article in The Independent.

"It was going to come in at the start of this year but we are not going to be able to get all the software done in time. So the qualifying changes will probably be in Spain," Ecclestone revealed.

"In Australia it will be the old qualifying. All of the software has got to be written so it's not easy," he added.

The new format is based on the existing 'knockout' qualifying system, but with a car eliminated every 90 seconds instead of in a group at the end of the three segments.

Ecclestone admitted he actually wanted a more radical shake-up for 2016, involving reversing the grids.

"I wanted a very simple thing," he said. "I wanted qualifying to stay as it is, because it is good, and then if a guy is on pole and has won the last race he gets so many seconds added to his time so he has to fight through the bloody pack to get in the lead, which he would do in the end."

Amid F1's democratic processes, Ecclestone said he is frustrated the teams are not more supportive of his moves to spice up the racing.

"There are a million things they could do but they are completely mad," he said. "We can't do it alone because to get the things voted through it has to go through the commissions and then we have got the teams all deciding."

0.01%……That is the percent of fans that will understand F1's new proposed qualifying system


In a bid to improve Formula 1, teams have been in discussion on Tuesday and have agreed to the introduction of an elimination style qualifying.

Discussions have been made between team bosses and F1 chiefs in Geneva regarding future ideas, with sources revealing that some proposals gained more support than others, with one of them proposing for the elimination of the slowest car during qualifying.

The new qualifying format has yet to be ratified by officials, with the rule changes needing to be approved by the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council next month. It is understood that the new qualifying will come into play as early as this season.

How the proposal works:

During Q1: The session will be sixteen minutes long, and after seven minutes the slowest driver at that time is eliminated, after which every ninety seconds another driver will be eliminated until the chequered flag falls, meaning seven drivers are eliminated during the first session.

During Q2: The remaining fifteen drivers return to the track for a fifteen minute session, with the slowest driver being eliminated at the six minute mark, with another six drivers being eliminated before the end of the session, again at ninety second intervals.

During Q3: The remaining eight drivers will fight it out for pole position, with a fourteen minute session seeing the first driver being eliminated after five minutes have elapsed. The slowest drivers will then continue to be eliminated at ninety second intervals until we are left with two drivers for the final 90 seconds.

Also discussed was a penalty system where on the basis of championship positions, extra time is added to each drivers’ qualifying time. It is understood that this penalty system could be combined with the elimination system to improve Formula 1.

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