Formula 1‘s elimination style qualifying has been approved by the FIA World Motor Sport Council.
Despite concerns raised by Formula 1 Management (FOM) about possible delays due to the software changes needed to adapt, the new system is scheduled to be introduced for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix later this month. Following meetings of the Strategy Group and F1 Commission in Geneva last week, the original idea was approved.
Bernie Ecclestone soon revealed FOM’s potential difficulties in relaying information to television broadcasters, suggesting that due to problems the system could be postponed until later in the year, and may not happening until May with the Spanish Grand Prix.
Earlier this week speculation emerged that there might be a slight change to the format, Q1 and Q2 will adopt the elimination system while Q3 will continue under the system that has been in place since 2006.
The WMSC has opted to go with the full elimination set-up with FOM understood to have informed Ecclestone that it could be ready in time for Melbourne’s opening race at Albert Park on March 20.
Some drivers have been outspoken about the new qualifying procedures, with Sebastian Vettel amongst those speaking out, with the German querying why the current system needed to be changed.
“I don’t think F1 is broken,” said Vettel. In terms of the show Formula 1 is doing fine, but in the background, the decisions lately and so on it is fair to say it is lacking leadership.
“I think it’s a little bit chaotic if a couple of weeks before the season they start to reinvent certain rules and formats of qualifying as it has been discussed in the last couple of weeks.
“I’m not a fan of the qualifying and I think speaking on behalf of all the drivers we don’t get what’s wrong with the old qualifying and why change it.”