F1 changes qualifying format

By Adam Tate, Managing Editor

With the Strategy Group and the F1 Commission both meeting today in a series of last ditch efforts to draft new rules for 2017, 2018 and beyond; a series of announcements are set to stream out of Geneva over the following days that will have massive implications for the sport.

The first of these broke today with changes to the now, well established qualifying format. What replaces the tried and true system is a gimmicky scheme that surely has Bernie Ecclestone rubbing his hands with glee.

Qualifying will still be divided into the usual Q1, Q2, and Q3 segments, but instead of eliminating the slowest cars in between sessions, Saturday’s will now feature “live” eliminations.

Q1 will now last 16 minutes, after the first seven minutes the slowest driver will be knocked out every 90 seconds until 15 drivers remain.

Q2 will follow the same format and knock out all but the top eight cars.

Q3 will be a session with the final eight, where eliminations will begin five minutes into the session, whittling the competitors down to two drivers fighting for the pole.

How on earth the logistics of such a complicated change will work now fall upon the shoulders of race director Charlie Whiting. We can’t wait to see how it shakes out.

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Associate Editor of Motorsports Tribune and jack of all trades, Adam is our resident Formula 1 expert. He has covered F1, IndyCar, WEC, IMSA, NASCAR, PWC and more. His work has been featured on multiple outlets including AutoWeek and Motorsport.com. A MT Co-founder, Adam has been with us since the beginning when he and Joey created Tribute Racing back in 2012. When not at the track or writing about cars, Adam can be found enjoying the Oregon back roads in his GTI.

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