Commission ‘unanimously’ accepts qualy change

Formula 1 could have a new qualifying format as early as next month after the F1 Commission gave the go-ahead to a knockout system.

“A new qualification format was unanimously accepted by the F1 Commission,” stated the FIA. “The new system is being evaluated for introduction, potentially as soon as the beginning of the 2016 season.”

As reported earlier qualifying will still take place in three segments with drivers eliminated minute-on-minute rather than at the end.

The format is as follows…

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

Meanwhile motorsport’s governing body has also opted to bring in a ‘Driver of the Day’ awarded that will be decided by fan vote.

The FIA stated: “The F1 Commission agreed to the introduction of a Driver of the Day award, to be implemented by the Commercial Rights Holder in conjunction with Formula One broadcasters, with the intention of driving greater fan engagement.

“Viewers will be encouraged to vote online for their “Driver of the Day” throughout a grand prix, with the winner to be announced as part of the race broadcast immediately following the conclusion of the race, when the driver will be presented with their prize.”

The other notable change was the approval for Formula 1 to press ahead with cockpit protection from the 2017 season.

Although the ‘halo’ concept is currently the preferred option, the FIA revealed that transparent cockpit protection is also being evaluated.

As for the 2017 Sporting and Technical Regulations, the deadline to decide those has been pushed back to 30 April 2016.

However various bodywork changes to “create more exciting cars, delivering additional downforce to increase speeds and lower lap times” have been agreed.

As of 2017, front tyres will increase from 245mm to 305mm with the rears up from 325mm to 405mm. The car’s width will also increase from 1400mm to 1600mm with the front wing up to 1800mm and the rear to 950mm.

The maximum weight of the car has increased 20kg to 722k in order to accommodate the new regulations.

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