Revised qualifying format for Melbourne?


As pre-season testing hopefully builds anticipation in fans, broadcasters and sponsors, the sport is doing what it has always done best; shooting itself in the foot.

Just days after most breathed a sigh of relief, when Bernie Ecclestone revealed that a new qualifying format will not be in place for Melbourne, it looks like the controversial new format might go ahead after all, albeit with a few changes.

Following a meeting of team bosses and the FIA yesterday, it is understood that in Melbourne, the new format - which essentially sees the slowest driver eliminated every ninety seconds - will be in place for Q1 and Q2, whilst Q3 will revert to the old format.

Ignoring the fact that Ecclestone said the software wouldn't be ready, and a foul up involving duff software during qualifying for the season opener would make the sport a laughing stock, the fact is that many in the F1 paddock are totally against the new format.

As the teams make their final preparations for the season opener, which gets underway in two weeks, the sport's powers-that-be have until Friday if the new format is to get the green light for Melbourne as that is when the FIA's World Motor Sport Council meets.

To further complicate the matter, the drivers are to meet with Charlie Whiting later today, many having already expressed unease with the new format.

Furthermore, it has been suggested that any modification of the format would mean rewording the regulations, which would necessitate a new vote of approval from the Strategy Group and F1 Commission.

And you thought all F1 had to worry about was the silver Arrows reliability.

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Published: 02/03/2016
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