The specific details of the new qualifying format being launched for the 2016 Australian Grand Prix have been confirmed into the sporting regulations in readiness for its impending debut.

The existing three-phase knockout formula has been tweaked to include an 'elimination' process which will see the slowest cars at 90secs intervals pulled from the running.

The new format originally received a lukewarm reaction from fans and drivers, not least when it emerged it may have to be delayed anyway due to concerns writing code into the timing system.

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However, when that was resolved, the format was confirmed for the start of the season, which gets underway in Melbourne on March 18-20.

Though the FIA has given details about the format, the following is what is written into the sporting regulations and covers eventualities.

The session will be run as follows

a)
From 14.00 to 14.16 (Q1) all cars will be permitted on the track. Seven minutes after the start of the session the driver last in the classification will be eliminated and will no longer be timed, he must then return to the pit lane and may take no further part in the qualifying practice session.

The same procedure will then apply after 8m30s, 10m0s, 11m30s, 13m0s and 14m30s leaving sixteen cars eligible to continue. At the end of the session all drivers on the track may complete the lap they are on and, once these final laps have been completed, the driver last in the classification may take no further part in the qualifying practice session. Lap times achieved by the fifteen remaining cars will then be deleted.

b)
From 14.24 to 14.39 (Q2) the fifteen remaining cars will be permitted on the track. Six minutes after the start of the session the driver last in the classification will be eliminated and will no longer be timed, he must then return to the pit lane and may take no further part in the qualifying practice session. The same procedure will then apply after 7m30s, 9m0s, 10m30s, 12m0s and 13m30s leaving nine cars eligible to continue.

At the end of the session all drivers on the track may complete the lap they are on and, once these final laps have been completed, the driver last in the classification may take no further part in the qualifying practice session. Lap times achieved by the eight remaining cars will then be deleted.

c)
From 14.46 to 15.00 (Q3) the eight remaining cars will be permitted on the track. Five minutes after the start of the session the driver last in the classification will be eliminated and will no longer be timed, he must then return to the pit lane and may take no further part in the qualifying practice session. The same procedure will then apply after 6m30s, 8m0s, 9m30s, 11m0s and 12m30s leaving two cars eligible to continue.

At the end of the session any driver on the track may complete the lap he is on and, once any final lap has been completed, the overall classification will be established.

The above procedure is based upon 22 cars being officially eligible to take part in the Event. If 24 cars are eligible eight will be excluded after Q1 and Q2, if 26 cars are eligible nine cars will be excluded after Q1 and Q2, and so on if fewer cars are eligible. If necessary, the intervals between the sessions and eliminations will be adjusted to ensure Q3 remains unchanged.