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F1 Australian GP: New qualifying format gets Australian GP green light

The much discussed new qualifying format gets the go-ahead for the Australian Grand Prix in its original format.
The controversial new F1 qualifying format will go ahead as originally planned at the Australian Grand Prix after a way to write software into the timing system was apparently found.

The new live elimination format, which will see the slowest cars after 90secs intervals eliminated across three phases, looked set to be delayed until the Spanish Grand Prix after it was discovered it created issues with the timing system.

With a revised proposal raised, drivers aired their frustration at the constant changes this week, but a meeting of the Strategy Group has, according to Claire Williams, voted it in its original format after it was found it could be introduced for Albert Park without changes.

“They can do the programme now. They've worked out that they can,” she said. “The Strategy Group voted it through and I voted for it. I think it's really important to remember the whole purpose of looking at qualifying was to try and shake up the grid to go into the race and make races a little bit more exciting. I think it's too early to judge.

“I would like to get to Melbourne, see how it plays out, and then we'll comment upon it. But I think the objective and the reasons why we have looked at it and changed it are well meaning, and I think we should reserve criticism until we see play out.”

Reflecting on the backlash on the drivers this week, Williams is sure the format will ultimately prove a success.

“The driver criticism hasn't been great has it! That's Formula One. It makes it more exciting for everyone to wonder whether it's on or off. I think Bernie came out because there were some issues whether we could actually do it.

“It wasn't a case of 'well we think the idea isn't in a good one so we're going to have a rethink', it was working out if we can implement it in time for Melbourne. I don't have any issues, I think we should focus on going racing in Melbourne.”

The basis of the new elimination format is as follows:

Q1
• 16 minutes
• After 7 minutes, slowest driver eliminated
• Slowest driver eliminated every 1 minute 30 seconds thereafter until the chequered flag
• 7 drivers eliminated, 15 progress to Q2
Q2
• 15 minutes
• After 6 minutes, slowest driver eliminated
• Slowest driver eliminated every 1 minute 30 seconds thereafter until the chequered flag
• 7 drivers eliminated, 8 progress to Q3
Q3
• 14 minutes
• After 5 minutes, slowest driver eliminated
• Slowest driver eliminated every 1 minute 30 seconds thereafter until the chequered flag
• 2 drivers left in final 1 minute 30 seconds

by Ollie Barstow



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DBL

March 04, 2016 3:09 PM

Oh I can't wait for the confusion, the TV director not knowing who to follow, they'll miss everything and..............oh why bother. At least it'll be on on the early hours so I don't need much of an excuse to miss it.

SoSlo

March 04, 2016 4:49 PM

This new Q format makes perfect sense for modern F1. See, the new Q format forces you to watch the slowest cars on track because that's what F1 is all about... watching the slowest car... wait... what? So, since the new Q format continues to further F1's descent into stupidity, it all makes perfect sense.



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