The FIA could be poised to confirm further tweaks to Formula One's qualifying procedure that would banish the much-derided 'fuel burning' phase from the final top-ten shoot-out.

According to reports in the Spanish press, the controversial - and far from environmentally-correct - laps that open the third and final section of the Saturday session would be all but eliminated by a cut in the amount of time the top ten qualifiers have to chase pole position, although the entire qualifying procedure would still take up the allotted hour.

The 'lost' five minutes from the final segment would be added to the opening phase, where all 22 cars take to the track in an effort to avoid a spot on the final three rows of the grid. That session would expand to 20 minutes, theoretically giving each driver a little more time and space in which to post a decent time in order to make it through to phase two, where positions eleven to 16 are decided. That round would remain fixed at 15 minutes.

The final thrash for pole would be reduced to ten minutes, virtually ensuring that teams shoot for pole from the off, even though it is understood that they will not be able to do so on light fuel loads, with teams still having to fill the cars according to how they wish to start the following day's grand prix.

 

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