The curious case of F1 qualifying

We head towards the Bahrain Grand Prix with the sport intending to continue to use the elimination qualifying format, despite the teams agreeing on the Sunday morning of the Australian Grand Prix to revert to the qualifying format used in 2015.

2016 Aus GP
Seb + Kimi (Lap 1)” by ZK-NZE is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

So how has the sport ended up still using the elimination format despite the teams agreeing to abandon it?

In short, the FIA last week decided not to abandon the new for 2016 format. They opted instead to put forward an altered format. This mainly consisted of changes to Q3 which was the main issue at the Australian Grand Prix where for the final three to four minutes there were no cars out on track.

Todt
Symposium on The Future Networked Car” by ITU Pictures is licensed under CC BY 2.0

In order for that altered format to be approved, it needs unanimous support from the Strategy Group and F1 Commission. The support never materialised, and since no other formats were put forward for voting it meant that F1 remains with the original elimination qualifying format.

Don’t expect however this to be the final say in the qualifying debate as it is still very uncertain what format will be used for the remainder of the season.

Bahrain
2014 Formula 1 Bahrain” by Mubarak Fahad is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

 

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