Formula One teams are said to have agreed on adopting an all-new qualifying format for the 2016 season onward in an attempt to make the sport more exciting.
The elimination style qualifying hasn’t yet been approved by the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council but reports suggest it’ll be given the thumbs up before the first race in Melbourne, Australia.
The new format works as follows. Throughout the three qualifying sessions, the slowest drivers are eliminated not just at the end of the individual sessions but actually in 1 minute and 30 second intervals.
Q1 will run for 16 minutes and after 7 minutes, the slowest driver will be eliminated. From there, the slowest driver every 90 seconds after will be eliminated, leaving 15 drivers for Q2. In Q2, the same rules will apply except the first eliminated car will come after the 6 minute mark. In Q3 which runs for 14 minutes, the slowest driver will be eliminated after 5 minutes and five more will be eliminated in 90 second intervals. This will mean that just two drivers will remain in the final 90 seconds of Q3, battling it out for pole position.
What all of this means is that most drivers simply won’t be able to set one flying lap and instead have to set multiple laps throughout the course of a session. This will be particularly evident in Q3 where in previous seasons, frontrunners have often just set one banzai lap in the last couple of minutes to secure a high starting position.
Story references: Motorsport