Perez: Drivers unhappy with new qualifying rules

2016 F1 season

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Formula One drivers have expressed their dissatisfaction with planned new qualifying rules at a meeting with FIA race director Charlie Whiting.

Following the meeting at the Circuit de Catalunya Sergio Perez told Sky the drivers opposed a plan to introduce an elimination-style qualifying system.

“We’re obviously not very happy with the new rules that they want to implement and let’s see if they’re going to change it,” said Perez following today’s test session.

The plan was first proposed last week but over the weekend Bernie Ecclestone admitted Formula One Management would not be able to implement it in time for the first race. A revised version of the system has been proposed which would see the current Q3 period left unchanged.

But Perez said the existing qualifying format works and does not need to be replaced with a more complicated alternative.

“We’ve heard that it can definitely mess up the rules and for the fans it can be very complicated to understand,” he said. “It’s complicated for us already so I think for the fans it will just make things more and more complicated.”

“We feel that the qualifying at the moment is really good,” the Force India driver added, “I don’t think there’s a reason to change that.”

The three-stage knock-out qualifying system has been in use in its current form since 2006. The FIA World Motor Sport Council is due to vote on the proposed change on Friday, 15 days before the first qualifying session of the year.

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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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15 comments on “Perez: Drivers unhappy with new qualifying rules”

  1. I think what Eric Boellier mentioned today is very much applicable: nothing is defenitive and everything keeps changing, so i will just not comment on it (paraphrased.). Or maybe even shorter: Just LOL

  2. It’s a shame that it seems as if nobody will listen to the drivers though. Which I find incredibly sad to be honest.

    F1 has got itself into this completely stupid and unnecessary mess, and for what? A system which only might prevent the shock results we saw with the old system.

    It’s just getting silly now.

    1. It’s been silly for some time. But at least if you change something, you’ll find out soon enough whether it works or not. Rather than speculate and anticipate, you can implement and correlate.

      Time will tell. Glad we don’t have to wait too long :)

    2. Bernie and Jean don’t give a monkey’s what the fans want, so why would you expect them to care any more about what the drivers want?

  3. For once, I feel the drivers are together in their discontent. Previously, stuff like double points was discussed but they weren’t all against it, even if the fanbase clearly opposed to it. But now, it seems even they don’t like it and feel it’s a pointless change to tweak something that was working just fine.

    As someoen said before on the site, this is starting to be one of those things are are heavily discussed, even approved by teams and the governing body, yet it won’t be implemented…

  4. I’m torn on this one – on one hand I fully agree that qualifying is not the problem at all, it works great as it is. On the other hand, if introducing a new complicated qualifying system that will cause a bit of confusion and controversy, then bring it on – F1 is in need of exactly that! The cream will rise to the top but until it settles down then I will embrace it.

  5. The way I understood it in this new proposal 8 cars would qualify to Q3 instead of 10, so Q3 will face some changes as well @keithcollantine

  6. I’m sorry but I don’t understand why Qualifying has to be changed ….. just about everybody believes (including me) that F1 needs to be more exciting with the races being more spectacular but I honestly believe that Bernie and the FIA need to find sensible ways to spice up the racing and not mess around with a proven qualifying system that most people seem to be happy with. The guys behind the wheel have some good ideas and often lots to say on ways to improve the sport but nobody outside of the teams ever seems to listen to what they have to say.

    Will the new system work, I certainly have mt doubts, all I see at the moment is more controversy and confusion and little or no improvement to the main event ……. so lets wait and see.

    But roll on March 18, I am having withdrawal symptoms and really looking forward to the season opener.

  7. Well said, Perez.
    Bernie: go home!

  8. My initial thoughts were the same as Sergio’s. In my opinion, this is the best qualifying format they have ever had, so why change it?

    But I have decided to wait and see. What this format does, is reward the drivers that deliver fast laps every time. No banker laps because if it doesn’t work out, you might be gone. You make a mistake and overshoot a corner on your first lap in Q3, that will probably end your day. So, it rewards the best drivers. That has to be a good thing?

    That would all be fine to me except, sometimes it is the car that has a problem and needs to go back the the pits to be reset. What if you come out for your first lap and a tire deflates. Then you have to drive slowly back to the pits and don’t have time to put new boots on to set a good time.

    I think I like the bit where driver mistakes are punished, but the bit where car problems are more heavily punished is not as exciting. Let’s wait and see.

    1. Drivers will be penalized for other drivers mistakes though, not just their own, a yellow or red flag at the wrong time will eliminate a driver as 90 seconds will not be enough time to abort a lap and go again.

  9. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    3rd March 2016, 8:22

    Checo is exactly the kind of driver this system will penalize by limiting him, in all likelihood, to a single run in Q3.

    1. I think a lot of drivers will be limited to one run in Q3. This was already the case for some drivers in the old system and it will be the case for more drivers under the new system as they are more likely to have to use the softest tyres in Q1 than before. This is the reason for the latest proposal to revert back to the current format for Q3, the risk of very little running in Q3 after the staggered eliminations started was too high.

  10. Good! Drop the changes!!!

  11. In my first post on F1 Fanatic I will state the obvious….Bernie needs to sail off, far away from the grid and let someone new and younger take the reins.

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