Formula 1 elimination qualifying gets the go ahead

by Gemma Bray

Formula 1’s elimination style qualifying has been set in stone after teams on Thursday approved the rule change.

Even though the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council had approved the features of the change last week, the wording of the new regulations had to be approved by the Strategy Group and F1 Commission.

Scuderia Ferrari had expressed some concerns about the changes to qualifying this season with the chance that the Maranello outfit may have elected to hold out on giving its support.

E-votes went out to F1 teams for their views about the new regulations with it being understood that all teams have accepted the change. Before the start of the Australian Grand Prix, the FIA needs to make a formal change to the 2016 Sporting Regulations which is the only thing left before they can give the go ahead to the new format.

From Melbourne, F1 qualifying will switch to the knock-out style format for all three segments.

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.

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