Liberty eyeing Saturday qualifying race?


With a nod to cricket, which in the face of falling spectator numbers and viewing figures - as matches could last for several days - subsequently introduced the Twenty20 format which sees matches decided on the day, Liberty Media is said to be considering a major change to qualifying.

Ever since the American company bought the sport it has been looking at ways to not only spice up F1 for current fans but the means to attract younger new fans, essentially the future of the sport.

While there has been talk of reducing the race weekend from three to two days, and of reducing the length of races or even running the races over two days, according to Auto Motor und Sport, Liberty Media is now thought to have come up with a solution that will attract new fans while not alienating purists.

The German publication claims that while Friday will continue to consist of two practice sessions - though both run in the afternoon, Saturday would feature a 100 kilometre sprint race, the result of which would decide the starting grid for Sunday's Grand Prix.

A proposal to decide the race grid by reversing the standings in the drivers' championship was abandoned following calls that it would be too artificial, while copying the F2 format of deciding the grid by reversing the result of the preceding race was also scrapped, that format never quite gelling with fans.

The 100 kilometre qualifying race would see no limit placed on fuel or tyres, with the aim of seeing drivers go flat-out for the full distance.

With an eye on the gamesmanship that some teams might adapt looking ahead to the race, Toto Wolff has suggested points be awarded for the fastest laps or even the result of the qualifying race.

With the 100 kilometre sprint aimed at attracting a new generation of fans who want their sport (and pretty much everything else) bite-sized, Niki Lauda suggests that races should be limited to 90 or 100 minutes.

"Why not set a maximum length for the races," he told Auto Motor und Sport. "The two-hour races in Singapore and Monte Carlo are hard to sell if nothing happens for two hours."

While the two practice sessions would be held on Friday afternoon, it is proposed that the morning should be given over to scrutineering, with race fans given full access. Which would have Christian Horner whining in... 3... 2...

Article from Pitpass (

Published: 02/04/2018
Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2021. All rights reserved.