Alexander Rossi, Caterham, Circuit of the Americas, 2013

Stewards confirm qualifying changes for Austin

2014 United States Grand Prix

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Alexander Rossi, Caterham, Circuit of the Americas, 2013The stewards of the United States Grand Prix have confirmed details of revisions to the qualifying procedure due to the reduced field of 18 cars owing to the absence of Marussia and Caterham.

This has been necessary as the FIA Sporting Regulations are written on the assumption that a minimum of 22 cars will compete, with six being eliminated in Q1 and a further six in Q2.

The stewards have ruled that four drivers will be eliminated in both Q1 and Q2, leaving ten cars to participate in Q3 as usual.

In a statement the stewards said: “In view of the non-participation of two teams in the 2014 United States Grand Prix, the Stewards have been requested to clarify the format for Qualifying Practice.

“Accordingly, under the authority granted to the stewards in Article 11.9 of the International Sporting Code, and having regard to the principles established in the Formula One Sporting Regulations Article 33.1, the stewards decide that the slowest four cars in Q1 will prohibited from taking any further part in the session, and the slowest four cars in Q2 will likewise be prohibited from taking any further part in the session.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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17 comments on “Stewards confirm qualifying changes for Austin”

  1. Really think this is just another example of FIA and Bernie shooting from the hip again without really thinking things through. If they left the rulations alone and eliminated 6 & 6 as usual that would leave Q3 with the fastest 6 (assuming that SV starting from pitlane was counted as 1of 6 eliminated in Q1, no time) and really with only 10 minutes of Q3 and only 6 cars there is less rubber to be laid to skew the results towards the last car on track and let’s face it Q3 is all about rows 1 , 2 and maybe 3, rows 4 and 5 are midfield traffic, nothing to get excited about ,so why not settle those positions in Q2. It all just seems like a ” we have to appear to be doing something” mentality or mild panic.

    1. *rEGulations, to busy congratulating myself for the “Wild West” reference.

    2. Even 5 out in Q1 and Q2 and a top 8 shootout would have been worth seeing.

      There’s a need to keep all the segments interesting and it’s probably easier to achieve that by keeping as much of an element of stress in Q1 and Q2.

      But it was never going to happen and it was always going to be 4 out in the first two parts.

    3. 100% on the money! The ringmaster must always be seen to be in charge – even if he doesn’t know what he’s doing!

    4. ColdFly F1 (@)
      30th October 2014, 21:55

      @hohum, agree that this would have been great. Both Q1 and Q2 would be a lot more exciting.

      The problem is though that had they left the rules unchanged than 6 championship entrants would have been eliminated in Q1. Marussia and Catherham are still championship entrants, and thus would count as being eliminated (i.e. leaving 16 cars for Q2 and 10 for Q1).
      Thus a regulation change was required – they just missed an opportunity to make it more exciting.

    5. Is this not just another case of keeping the big teams happy. If Q3 was reduced by 2 or more cars it would increase the possibility of Ferrari or McLaren, in particular, not making it into Q3. Ultimately that might not affect the final row positions but if a rival is affected by a mechanical problem in Q3 you have to be in it to win it

      1. +1 , and also no q3 = less tv time for the big teams

  2. Given no Vettel in Austin they will have only 17 cars, which is the same as they had going into Q2 last year… so could almost get away with 2 sessions

  3. A missed opportunity to try 6-6-6 qualifying if you’d ask me. With only the fastest 6 cars in Q3, each car could get more camera time, giving the fans the possibility to actually see the laps unfold. I have long thought that instead of just seeing the cars cross the finish line in Q3 (which is exting) qualifying could be improved if they’d actually show more of the lap, especially from onboard footage.

    1. @me4me Indeed, but 10 cars over the finish line, trumps 6!

    2. @me4me, exactly, instead of concentrating on LH and NR, or worse the red cars, we might see the heroic efforts of Bottas or Ricciardo and how they came undone.

  4. 6-6-6 qualifying is something Americans are used to… the Firestone Fast 6 in Indycar!

  5. There wil be hard fighting for the Q2.

  6. It’s a good compromise it should improve qualy.

  7. I think with all the rules taken into consideration, this format is the least painful and doesn’t upset the apple cart too much. If they were to change the Q3 format, then does that mean the drivers eliminated from Q2 that were in the top 10 would be penalised by having to run the tyre they set their quickest lap on as per current regulations, or would it have been a case of just leaving the Q3 format alone and just mess around with the easy stuff on the edges? On balance I think its right to do this, rather than have someone in 8th potentially start on a different tyre and actually score a podium purely down to this qualifying format…

  8. “The stewards of the United States Grand Prix have confirmed details of revisions to the qualifying procedure due to the reduced field of 18 teams.”

    Blimey, 18 teams, are you sure? ;)

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