F1 qualifying set for dramatic format change

Formula 1 teams are believed to have agreed to a radical new qualifying format in attempt to increase the amount of action during qualifying.

The new format, which still needs to be approved by the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council next month, was discussed at a meeting of the F1 Strategy Group and F1 Commission in Geneva this week.

While the details of the format have not yet been confirmed, the primary principal behind the change is the introduction of live eliminations. The current three-stage qualifying format will remain, but rather than have drivers eliminated at the end of each qualifying block, they will be eliminated throughout each of the three segments.

The proposed outline is believed to be the following:

Q1

– Sixteen minutes long;

– All 22 cars are involved;

– After seven minutes the slowest driver is eliminated;

– The slowest driver is then eliminated every one minute and 30 seconds thereafter until the chequered flag;

– At the end of Q1, seven drivers will have been eliminated, while 15 will progress to Q2;

– The seven eliminated drivers make up positions 16-22 on the grid.
Q2

– Fifteen minutes long;

– The 15 drivers who survived Q1 take part;

– After nine minutes the slowest driver eliminated;

– The slowest driver is then eliminated every one minute and 30 seconds thereafter until the chequered flag;

– At the end of Q2, a further seven drivers will have been eliminated, while eight progress to Q3;

– The seven eliminated drivers make up positions 9-15 on the grid.
Q3

– Fourteen minutes long;

– The eight drivers who survived Q1 and Q2 take part

– After five minutes the slowest driver eliminated;

– The slowest driver is then eliminated every one minute and 30 seconds thereafter until the chequered flag;

– Two are drivers left in the final one minute and 30 seconds and go head-to-head in the battle for pole position.

It is believed that the new format could come into play as early as in the upcoming season.

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