Ricciardo: Qualy change will up the ante

Daniel Ricciardo reckons F1’s planned changes to the qualifying format will put a “little bit more pressure” on the drivers.

The F1 Commission has given the go-ahead to a new knockout system, which could come into effect as early as next month’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

Under the new format drivers won’t be elimated after each segment but rather during it.

In Q1, for example, after seven minutes the slowest driver will be eliminated after which every 1 minute 30 seconds the driver at the bottom of the timesheets will be knocked out.

The new system is expected to up the ante on Saturday afternoons and Red Bull’s Ricciardo reckons it will definitely put more pressure on the drivers to put the perfect lap early in the session.

“I was just going over it a little bit before,” the Aussie told F1i. “Initial thoughts without looking in to ‘how’s that going to work or what if it rains’ – the ins and outs – it seems fine. I don’t know how much it’s going to change.

“In terms of qualifying we’ll still just bang around, I think what will be interesting is that after 90 seconds or whatever you’re just waiting for a message of ‘you’re still in’ or ‘nah, you f***ed up, you’re out’! From that point of view it’s probably going to keep it exciting.

“I think it might put a little bit more pressure on us to execute the lap early in the session because I think after five minutes or something they’re going to start ticking them off.

“So you’ve got to not only execute the lap but set yourself up in traffic well, so there might be a little bit more precision involved rather than pick your moment in 15 minutes.

“So yeah, anything to make it a bit more interesting is cool. Again, it’s one of those ones which is going to be the same for everyone so it won’t be any more positive for some than others, we’ll all get used to it.”

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