Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso, Circuit de Catalunya, 2016

FIA publishes new rules for ‘elimination qualifying’

2016 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by

The FIA has published the rules for Formula One’s new ‘elimination’ qualifying system which will be used from the start of the new season next week.

The new procedure will see drivers being eliminated every 90 seconds in Q1, Q2 and Q3.

However some drivers have criticised the planned change as being unnecessary and excessively complicated.

2016 qualifying rules

33.1 The qualifying practice session will take place on the day before the race from 14.00 to 15.00.

The session will be run as follows:

a) From 14.00 to 14.16 (Q1) all cars will be permitted on the track. Seven minutes after the start of the session the driver last in the classification will be eliminated and will no longer be timed, he must then return to the pit lane and may take no further part in the qualifying practice session. The same procedure will then apply after 8m30s, 10m0s, 11m30s, 13m0s and 14m30s leaving sixteen cars eligible to continue. At the end of the session all drivers on the track may complete the lap they are on and, once these final laps have been completed, the driver last in the classification may take no further part in the qualifying practice session.

Lap times achieved by the fifteen remaining cars will then be deleted.

b) From 14.24 to 14.39 (Q2) the fifteen remaining cars will be permitted on the track. Six minutes after the start of the session the driver last in the classification will be eliminated and will no longer be timed, he must then return to the pit lane and may take no further part in the qualifying practice session. The same procedure will then apply after 7m30s, 9m0s, 10m30s, 12m0s and 13m30s leaving nine cars eligible to continue. At the end of the session all drivers on the track may complete the lap they are on and, once these final laps have been completed, the driver last in the classification may take no further part in the qualifying practice session.

Lap times achieved by the eight remaining cars will then be deleted.

c) From 14.46 to 15.00 (Q3) the eight remaining cars will be permitted on the track. Five minutes after the start of the session the driver last in the classification will be eliminated and will no longer be timed, he must then return to the pit lane and may take no further part in the qualifying practice session. The same procedure will then apply after 6m30s, 8m0s, 9m30s, 11m0s and 12m30s leaving two cars eligible to continue. At the end of the session any driver on the track may complete the lap he is on and, once any final lap has been completed, the overall classification will be established.

The above procedure is based upon 22 cars being officially eligible to take part in the Event. If 24 cars are eligible eight will be excluded after Q1 and Q2, if 26 cars are eligible nine cars will be excluded after Q1 and Q2, and so on if fewer cars are eligible. If necessary, the intervals between the sessions and eliminations will be adjusted to ensure Q3 remains unchanged.

[…]

35.2 a) The grid will be drawn up as follows:

i) The last seven positions will be occupied by the cars eliminated during Q1, the fastest in 16th position.
ii) The next seven positions will be occupied by the cars eliminated during Q2, the fastest in 9th position.
iii) The top eight positions will be occupied by the cars which took part in Q3, the fastest from the position on the grid which was the pole position in the previous year or, on a new circuit, has been designated as such by the FIA safety delegate.

If two or more drivers set identical times during Q1, Q2 or Q3 priority will be given to the one who set it first.

If more (or less) than 22 cars are entered in the championship appropriate amendments will be made to the above in accordance with Article 33.1.

b) If more than one driver fails to set a time during Q2 or Q3 they will be arranged in the
following order:

i) Any driver who attempted to set a qualifying time by starting a flying lap.
ii) Any driver who failed to start a flying lap.
iii) Any driver who failed to leave the pits during the period.

c) Once the grid has been established in accordance with a) and b) above, grid position penalties will be applied to the drivers in question in the order the offences were committed. If, following qualifying, more than one driver incurs a penalty under Article 23.4(f) or Article 23.6(a) preference will be given to the driver whose team first informed the technical delegate that a power unit or gearbox change will be carried out.

d) Any driver who incurs a penalty under Article 23.4(f) or Article 23.6(a) will take precedence over any driver whose qualifying times have been deleted for any reason.

If more than one driver falls into a single category in b) or d) above they will be arranged on the grid in the order they were classified in the previous period of qualifying or, in the case of Q1, the order they were classified in P3.

2015 qualifying rules

33.1 The qualifying practice session will take place on the day before the race from 14.00 to 15.00.

The session will be run as follows:

a) From 14.00 to 14.18 (Q1) all cars will be permitted on the track and at the end of this period the slowest eight cars will be prohibited from taking any further part in the session.

Lap times achieved by the eighteen remaining cars will then be deleted.

b) From 14.25 to 14.40 (Q2) the eighteen remaining cars will be permitted on the track and at the end of this period the slowest eight cars will be prohibited from taking any further part in the session.

Lap times achieved by the ten remaining cars will then be deleted.

c) From 14.48 to 15.00 (Q3) the ten remaining cars will be permitted on the track.

The above procedure is based upon 26 cars being officially eligible to take part in the Event. If 24 cars are eligible seven will be excluded after Q1 and Q2, if 22 cars are eligible six cars will be excluded after Q1 and Q2, and so on if fewer cars are eligible.

[…]

36.2 a) The grid will be drawn up as follows:

i) The last eight positions will be occupied by the cars eliminated during Q1, the fastest in 19th position.
ii) The next eight positions will be occupied by the cars eliminated during Q2, the fastest in 11th position.
iii) The top ten positions will be occupied by the cars which took part in Q3, the fastest from the position on the grid which was the pole position in the previous year or, on a new circuit, has been designated as such by the FIA safety delegate.

If two or more drivers set identical times during Q1, Q2 or Q3 priority will be given to the one who set it first.

If less than 26 cars are entered in the Championship appropriate amendments will be made to the above in accordance with Article 33.1.

b) If more than one driver fails to set a time during Q2 or Q3 they will be arranged in the following order:

i) Any driver who attempted to set a qualifying time by starting a flying lap.
ii) Any driver who failed to start a flying lap.
iii) Any driver who failed to leave the pits during the period.

c) Once the grid has been established in accordance with a) and b) above, grid position penalties will be applied to the drivers in question in the order the offences were committed. If more than one driver incurs a penalty under Article 28.4(a) or Article 28.6(a) preference will be given to the driver whose team first informed the technical delegate that an engine or gearbox change will be carried out.

d) Any driver who incurs a penalty under Article 28.4(a) or Article 28.6(a) will take precedence over any driver whose qualifying times have been deleted for any reason. If more than one driver falls into a single category in b) or d) above they will be arranged on the grid in the order they were classified in the previous period of qualifying or, in the case of Q1, the order they were classified in P3.

2016 F1 season

Browse all 2016 F1 season articles

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

100 comments on “FIA publishes new rules for ‘elimination qualifying’”

  1. In file headline there is still “DRAFT 1999 F1 SPORTING REGULATIONS”

  2. For a moment I feared a reversed grid when I was reading ‘the eight remaining cars…’

    What’s the philosophy behind this elimination system? To prevent teams sitting it out in the pitbox ’till the end of the session?

    1. To artificially inject some unpredictability…

      1. @marcusbreese unpredictability which will mainly come from the commentators which will confuse everyone and TV editors which won’t be able to find the action. With such a confuse system Ecclestone will be able to tweak times in his liking and shuffle the grid without anyone noticing, clever man.

        More seriously, the unpredictability could work for 1 or two races and mainly for smaller teams, but we won’t notice anyway as the picking order is unknown after winter test and they will quickly get over it.

        Still curious to see what it will be like on track where it matter most. They should have added something like ‘an eliminated driver should get back to the pit as quickly as possible’ to avoid any unnecessary impeding.

        A red flag in Spa during qualifying would also show how ridiculous the system is, as at restart the last two or three drivers will be automatically disqualified as none of them would be able to complete an outlap and a quick lap before the next man is out.

        1. During a red flag situation qualifying will most likely beying stopped just as it was in 2015.

          From the get go all cars on track which will be more exting for the spectators, no more last minute single runs from the teams. If it’s gonna be unpredictable I am not sure, but at the strart there will be 22 cars on the grid, so things will get crowded. There’s greater change one of the faster cars will get stuck in traffic or something, that may cause a stir.

          A Q proceeds it’s getting less crowded and probably the faster cars will be in front, which is in fact where they should be.

        2. They should have added something like ‘an eliminated driver should get back to the pit as quickly as possible’ to avoid any unnecessary impeding.

          @jeanrien No, it’s already there:
          >>Seven minutes after the start of the session the driver last in the classification will be eliminated and will no longer be timed, he must then return to the pit lane and may take no further part in the qualifying practice session.

          Look at the last sentence, it’s basically said the same thing. Of course there’s no word “immediately” or “ASAP” but I think the intent is clear. This kind of thing can be clarified in race briefing by Charlie Whiting.

          Also red flag at Spa doesn’t make this rule as ridiculous as current rules with a driver who neglect to run until last 5 mins then the track is red flagged at 1:30 mins left when he’s on super quick lap, just passing 2nd sector. It’s his own fault if he haven’t posted good enough time when there’s something unforeseen happens.

          1. @sonicslv Agree on your point and let’s hope they do it during the briefing.

            Regarding red flag, I think there is something wrong with the current system. I don’t like people getting caught because they elect to do a single run. Why can’t they give a free outrun for everyone after a red flag period ?

    2. FlyingLobster27
      11th March 2016, 10:00

      Teams will avoid sitting it out until the end of the session… or else they’ll be forced to sit out the end. Put that way, it’s ironic.
      It’s telling that the new rules are twice the length of the previous ones, which, in turn, are three times the length needed to describe a single one-hour session. I watched Buxton’s video explaining the tyre rules in a whopping 15 minutes, and this Chase for Pole system takes at least 5 minutes to grasp. Season will be over by the time everyone understands F1, by which time the only thing you’ll really need to know is “yep, Merc won again”.

    3. To force teams running a lot in qualy instead only doing 2 or 1 set of run. This is forcing every team to post a time before first elimination time, on dirty track. Ideally, with track evolution, the lowest ranked driver that forced to run again will have ‘advantage’ from track evolution which should help him out of lowest rank, forcing the next driver to do the same and setting up chain reaction. That’s on paper, but we’ll see how it’ll turned out in reality.

      Also, this is not to budge Mercedes from its comfort zone until Q3. Provided normal circumstances. Mercedes, Ferrari, and Williams should be safe with 1 lap only in Q1 and Q2.

      1. Yea, but they’ll have to do this within the 1st five minutes or so AND while the track is full of cars. It’s gonna be tricky!

        1. Which should be better for us the viewers, right?

  3. I can see a grey area here that the teams will jump on, after the 7 minutes, are they allowed to complete the lap they’re on?

    1. If they are currently the slowest, and the elimination process is in effect, then No. Note, they have to be the “slowest”. Otherwise, Yes, they are allowed to complete that lap. Well, that is the way I understand it.

    2. Ugh I miss the quote button, anyway:
      >> Seven minutes after the start of the session the driver last in the classification will be eliminated and will no longer be timed, he must then return to the pit lane and may take no further part in the qualifying practice session.

      There is no grey area because when the time’s up, the last driver in classification is eliminated and he’s no longer timed. Even if he’s improved his first sector for example, by the time he reach 2nd sector, he won’t be timed anymore and must return to pit line.

      Notice the wording is difference for end of session:
      >> At the end of the session all drivers on the track may complete the lap they are on and, once these final laps have been completed, the driver last in the classification may take no further part in the qualifying practice session

      Which specifically written that all drivers may complete the lap they are on, AND once the laps have been completed, then the last driver is eliminated.

  4. RaceProUK (@)
    11th March 2016, 10:27

    It may just be a fault of the site layout, but the new regs look to be exactly twice as long as the old regs. And there was nothing wrong with the old regs.

    1. If it’s not broke….break it.

      1. you seem to have seen the future!!

    2. The old regs were 191 words, the new lot are a whopping 463 words. Says it all, really.

  5. as i said when they were announced i will not be watching qualifying under these new rules.

    1. Guybrush Threepwood
      11th March 2016, 11:20

      Good for you

    2. wow, you are a hero

    3. It is looking like I won’t have a choice about watching because the online viewing option in New Zealand (where I live) has become too expensive. The only reason for this new format is supposedly to make watching Qualifying more exciting, but if people aren’t going to watch it, then it has no purpose.
      I had the idea that instead of eliminating the slowest, you automatically promote the fastest 4 in Q1 straight to Q3, and maybe remove the two slowest cars from Q1 as well, leaving the rest of the field to fight it out in Q2 for the remaining 6 places in Q3. Mind you, even if they did that I still wouldn’t be watching it.

    4. Exactly. Neither will we!

  6. I’m so tired of watching F1 destroy any area which is working, invent solutions to problems that don’t exist, create problems that previously didn’t…. I don’t think I’ve seen one person activelly dislike the previous qualifying procedure

    It’s not that F1 is boring or horrible to watch, it’s the constant fiddling and tampering and nagging that sucks all of the fun out. Adding tracks, removing tracks filled with historical value, adding rules, removing rules, adding gimmicks and hampering performance of racing.

    I’m honestly almost out of energy to even comment about this sport that I used to like so much, pretty soon I might not even watch it, I even skipped a few races last year because I just didn’t “feel like watching it”

  7. What about 20 or 18 cars taking part?

    1. >> and so on if fewer cars are eligible. If necessary, the intervals between the sessions and eliminations will be adjusted to ensure Q3 remains unchanged.

      @unitedkingdomracing It will adjusted so Q3 will have 8 cars left. So with 20 car it will be 6 car eliminated in Q1 and Q2, 18 car will have 5 car eliminated. The formula is X = (Number of cars – 8) / 2, where X is the number of cars eliminated for Q1 and Q2

  8. It just makes me really mad when I think about this ridiculous qualifying system. What happens if we are in the 90 second elimination period, and some drivers on a hot lap are shown yellow flags? They will have to slow down and possibly be eliminated without having to put in another lap. How would this work when a red flag comes out? Does the timer stop? Just think about the number of times a driver who has been eliminated will impede other drivers in that ‘hot 90 seconds’

    What a farce

    1. also, blocking will become much more of a problem, because you might not get the chance to do a second lap.

    2. Just like in the older format near the end of the Q1, Q2 and Q3…

  9. Can’t see q1 & q2 being much different, the fast teams will do an early lap and then wait to see if any of the slower ones get close enough to be a threat.

    Q3 will be terrible that mad last lap with all (normally) of the final 10 cars “going for it” and holding your breath till the last car crosses the line is gone. The only surprises that were of any real interest was how that lap panned out – cars could go from 10th to 1st or vice versa.

    Now it’ll be a “ho hum will it be lewis or Nico” – we know the rest of the order already.

    1. I don’t think teams will be able to go out again, if they feel their current times are not good enough. This is because they have to get out, and complete the 2nd qualifying lap BEFORE the elimination process starts.
      The first out lap, qualifying lap, in lap, and stop in garage (to change tyres and refuel) will take at least 7 minutes (more at bigger circuits like SPA). Add another 3 minutes for the second out lap and qualifying lap, and you are up to 10 minutes. So how many elimination stages have you passed? 3?
      The main problems with this new elimination qualifying process is;
      1) The drivers will have to use the softest of the options in all qualifying sessions (you can’t take the risk).
      2) The drivers will only have time to do one qualifying lap (for reasons above).
      3) As a result of 2, I suspect there won’t be any cars running at the end of Q3. It might even be the case, that there won’t be any running at the end of Q1 or Q2, if the cars indeed only do one run.
      What a farce!

  10. I’m anticipating a lot of “He held me up!”, especially in Q1 when all the cars go out immediately to try and set a hotlap at the same time. Perhaps this is the sort of thing the FIA wants, but I can see a lot of very unhappy drivers and teams who feel they’ve been knocked out unfairly.

    1. What happens in Monaco where top cars often abort laps for traffic and it can take a while to set a lap…tough luck? What if a driver who is through on his time holds up someone who is not through yet, a title contender could end up 15th in Monaco so weekend over through no fault of their own. I know this can happen now but this seems more cut throat.

      1. I have a feeling that on some level, this is exactly the kind of chaos that they’re hoping it will generate. Very frustrating for drivers and teams, but generating lots of controversy and publicity. In a sense this doesn’t really significantly change the nature of qualifying – they still go out, set a time before a set point, and if they’re below a certain threshold then they’re out. Just it’ll happen over the course of several minutes now rather than all at once. I just think there’s a danger when you compress the action to the start of the session, that there’ll be more potential for disruption.

        I also worry that the person who has been eliminated, who is then doing an in-lap while others are desperately trying to set fast laps, could be a factor in holding another person up.

        I’m on the fence with this. I don’t think qualifying needed changing, but I don’t think that this new format is inherently awful. I’ll give it a chance. What I find far more frustrating is the way it has been implemented and what that seems to suggest about the machinations at work at the top of the sport.

        1. I agree I have a feeling this has been rushed through without a full investigation as to how it will actually work in practice. Instead of letting cars and drivers give their best and see how the order pans out they are trying to occasionally mess up and penalise faster cars but this seems to go against the point of motorsport for me. If the championships are close and a controversy from this system is the deciding factor it will be ridiculous.

  11. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    11th March 2016, 11:08

    Question: Can you complete the lap you are on when the time runs out, or are teams going to have to calculate how much time they need leave before the elimination so they can fit the lap in?

    Question: Was the most technical, strategic, political and faceted sport in the world really in need of further complexity?

    1. Michael Brown
      11th March 2016, 16:33

      If you are eliminated during the elimination process, you cannot set a lap time, including when you are already on one.

      However, when the session ends, you can complete your current lap.

  12. Why is everyone so up in arms about an elimination qualifying? There’s two reasons why this is silly:

    1) It’s basically what we have now, just done one at a time rather than in a group
    2) The concept of the slowest car being eliminated every couple of minutes really isn’t tough to work out

    There’s always things to moan about, and sometimes I think we’re just programmed to dislike anything new, but I seriously don’t think this minor change to qualifying is one of them.

    If it gets cars out on track and puts the drivers under more pressure (Remember – they moan because it’s essentially more pressure for them. Of course they’re not going to like it. Drivers want a smooth, easy ride), then to me, it’s a success for all.

    If it flops, we bin it. Simple!

    1. Guybrush Threepwood
      11th March 2016, 11:22

      Stop it, now you’re just talking common sense.

    2. Finally, someone makes sense.

      I actually think people will come to like this system quickly, because it’s easy and straightforward, guarantees all cars on track from the beginning and it takes a brave man (or a huge advantage) to sit out a session after 1 timed lap. There is very little room for mistakes and every lap must be bang-on. That’s pretty much what most people want to see.

      1. I guarantee you Mercedes, Williams and Ferrari will do one lap in Q1 and sit it out.

        1. @xtwl It never designed to make Mercedes, Williams and Ferrari to drop out at Q1 or Q2 too.

        2. That’s fine! Be nice to see the rest of the field put them under pressure as the track evolves. And if they leave it late and do just 1 timed lap, that’s huge pressure to get it right!

          Sounds fine to me :)

          I think people are simply making a mountain out of a molehill. It’s really not hard to understand! If anything, I actually think if you sat a new fan down, they’d find this easier to understand, and probably find it an awful lot more entertaining. As much as that might upset people on here, that’s actually a good thing!

          Sorry, but I just think it’s utter hysteria. Give it a chance. F1 is sport as much as it is entertainment, so get used to it moving on with the times (I reiterate, for better or for worse. It’s not always going to be good changes, but a more pressure cooker environment for qualifying can’t be a bad thing. It’s the same for everyone! Unfair changes are gimmicks like DRS. This is not one of them).

    3. +1

      Tho not sure what happens when the yellow or red flag is out.

      1. Same thing as 2015 rules. Yellow flag means they have to slow down, red flag means session stopped. People here seems to think yellow flags and red flags will ruin a driver day much more than 2015 rules, when they always ruined some driver day on every qualy format.

        1. But if you’re unlucky a yellow flag could mean elimination with 7 minutes on the clock. In the old format you still had those 7 minutes to better your time.

  13. If we are all honest, the rules aren’t actually that complicated are they? They aren’t necessary of course and I’m not saying I agree with the new format, but they aren’t as complicated as the press and some fans have been making out. The complexity will no doubt come when the FIA get their pens out to issue “clarificatory” regulations after a few incidents have occurred.

    Qualifying is always a highlight and I think that these new rules will both add to and detract from “the show”. I think accusations of blocking will become far more frequent because more cars will be trundling back to the pits at regular intervals, the beginning of quali sessions will become a lot more interesting though they will no longer build to a climax the way they have in recent times. Let’s wait and see how it pans out.

    1. Fudge Ahmed (@)
      11th March 2016, 11:45

      They aren’t complicated at all, certainly nowhere near the tyre rules which I have just given up on. If 12 year olds can watch the Hunger Games I think we can figure this out, in a sport where adding a little strake to the front wing can earn you 3/100’s of a second and where the shape of an airbox suggests how well a team has packaged their car this is completely simple.

      1. To be honest, i’ve given up on understanding the tyre rule. I thought I got it, but I don’t. And do you know what? I’m fine with it.

        If it gives teams wider strategy ranges, that’s great. All I know is there are more tyres to choose from, and that’s positive.

        Let’s let it play out!

      2. That’s my point. If you read/watch a lot of the commentary on the new qualifying format (from fairly reputable sources too) they object to the new format mainly on the ground that it is too complicated. A lot of things are and that doesn’t stop people liking them.

  14. Fudge Ahmed (@)
    11th March 2016, 11:38

    I’m fine with this change. It means that if Lewis messes up his Q3 banker lap as he does quite often, he won’t necessarily be Q2 by default, he may be 5th or something. And this coming from a Lewis fan, last year’s constant Merc default front row lockouts were just tedious.

    1. Fudge Ahmed (@)
      11th March 2016, 11:39

      P2 not Q2 sorry.

    2. Exactly.

      This totally dismisses the whole ‘but they’ll just set one lap time at the end’ complaint. It’s a pressure cooker environment! The ‘best drivers in the world’ should be able to hold their nerve. And if they don’t, they pay for it.

      Isn’t that what we’ve wanted? Drivers paying for their mistakes?!

      They’re not going to bring back grass and gravel, we’ve got the mile long run-offs. They’re not going to bin the aero, so we’re stuck with that. The cars rarely break down anymore and they’re now punishing cars who does by dropping them down the grid the next race (which, honestly, I hate so much more than this new qualy format tweak – it just punishes fans who want to enjoy qualifying. It’s made it nigh on worthless to me for the past couple of seasons), so we’re stuck with that, too.

      That’s actually why I kind of liked the 2012 tyres. It was a black magic that teams were struggling to figure out. They weren’t “random”, they just behaved differently to how the teams had imagined, which was great.

      Sadly, that’s life in F1 now. They’ll tweak aspects to make it somewhat unpredictable again, because we now know too much, and the computers and data essentially decide the race before we hit the track. That’s the reality.

      This is why i’m totally fine with format tweaks in things like qualifying. We can still have great races in these modern cars, but usually when it’s been raining and the track is green, or if qualifying is messed up.

      Sprinklers are far too artificial, but a qualifying tweak to encourage more mistakes is actually a sensible happy medium.

      That’s just this guy’s view.

  15. Fudge Ahmed (@)
    11th March 2016, 11:40

    This also gives Vettel a shout on pole occasionally due to his metronomic qualifying consistency.

    1. @offdutyrockstar Actually I think Vettel is the one bothered by this new rule the most, as he prefer to go out at very late possible time and do perfect lap on best track condition. With this new rule, now he must run on “dirty track” with other drivers!

      1. @sonicslv I think you should read Vettel his last minute poles differently. He’s just the man who can switch his speed on on one out lap where others need several laps to get their best. He can just go out and right away set a stunner.

        1. Fudge Ahmed (@)
          11th March 2016, 12:40

          Agree with PorscheF1, Vettel’s last minute stunner’s speak more of his ability to nail the perfect lap as and when needed, rather than a reliance upon conditions. He can be counted on to deliver the best possible lap on a dirty track also but there was lesser need to do so in the previous qualifying format. Hamilton should be most worried about this format as he often needs 2 laps to bring the magic and his banker’s have been less and less secure of late.

          Again, this coming from a Lewis supporter but recent performances don’t lie!

        2. @xtwl Oh I very aware of Vettel quality, and by no mean discrediting him. I just sayin he probably the most bothered by the new rules because he enjoys setting fastest laps, and what better way to set those lap on perfect, evolved track, on qualy settings? He won’t get any trouble getting past Q1, Q2 and fighting for top 3 shoot out, but probably he will get annoyed knowing he can do better times if not forced to run early!

          1. He can wait to the very last for his killer lap if he wants but then he first needs to bank a fast enough lap to make it to the final shootout which will be tricky. It will be tricky for everyone and i think this is a nice shakeup, i dont get at all the outrage for trying this system.

      2. Can’t yo go out at the start of the Qx session and do a very good enough lap, and then in the final minutes go out with less traffic and more rubber to do a real fast lap. At least in Q2 and Q3. ?

        1. You can, but why would you do that if you in the safe zone? Except on Q3 where you fighting for poles, you better save fresh rubber for the race instead.

    1. Let’s not overreact.

    2. another comment by a casual F1 watcher.

      1. All F1 fans started out as casual watchers, without them F1 fandom will die,

    3. Current F1 situation:
      If it is not complicated, then it is not F1.

      1. Elimination is not complicated.

        1. Then they will keep changing it until it gets very complicated.

  16. We need to make F1 even more obtuse and complicated, because, ya know, complicated = sophisticated and the “pinnacle of motorsport.”

    Loud, brash, visceral, competitive, exciting, fast. Yes.

    Arcane, hyper-engineered, computer controlled, strategist driven, efficiency dominant, sustainable racing? No. Big no.

  17. I must say I’m not convinced qualifying needed changing. However I will give this change the benefit of the doubt until I’ve seen it work. It could be quite good fun.

    One thing I thought of though. For an added bit of drama, what if the two fastest cars at the end of Q3 were ordered to form up on the start/finish line for a one lap shoot-out for pole position? Empty track – no traffic, standing start, the two fastest cars/drivers on the day, very low fuel. That could be great fun!

  18. Lets play “what-if” for a moment – after all, it’s technically silly season for another week.

    The session starts under dull but dry weather, but by 6 1/2 minutes in, it’s drizzling steadily and it’s apparent that within a short space of time, the inters will probably give a better lap time than the softs you went out on. To change tyres, however, is going to cost you a bunch of time. Do you try to brave it out on slicks, knowing that sooner or later everyone else will be on inters and pushing you into the drop zone, or do you try for a pitstop?

    If you’re the first to blink, you will almost certainly post the slowest lap and be eliminated. If someone else goes for the pitstop, then you have a chance – if your crew can do a quicker pitstop. Of course, by now everyone has worked out that being the second driver to change tyres is probably the only good call, so all the remaining slick-shod cars will aim for the pits together, resulting in a jam worthy of the M25. It’s now a total lottery who gets the slowest trip through the pits, and thereby gets eliminated.

    So, how would YOU handle that situation?

    1. Love it! Get the boffins thinking, and letting the drivers feel it out in a pressurised environment!

    2. Simple. If I posted good times (not being the bottom 3) I just wait until all cars behind me comes into pit. If I was in the bottom 3, I call for a change on my tires.

      The logic is, if I’m safe for the next elimination, I can afford to stay on the track to see how it evolves. If someone change his tires and post fastest lap, it’s OK, because I still safe and can afford to pit and post new lap before the next elimination. If they can’t improve, then I know not to bother to come to the pit at this time. The only danger is if all cars below me on classification is all changing tires, then depends on my team relative strength (i.e., RB wont bother to change if there still Haas or Sauber to be eliminated) I may be forced to change tires too.

      If I’m on danger zone, then I should come to pit because then I have a chance to post a good time to not be eliminated. Not changing is not an option because the people faster than me won’t pit for above reason.

      That is the logic if its not a clear cut situation of using slicks/inters/full wet.

    3. Your laptime on inters would never matter if you already posted one on the the dry tyres assuming a dry lap is always faster than an inter lap.

        1. @xtwl True, I missed the important fact that the scenario is from dry to wet! I was thinking wet to dry situation where changing tires can make or break your day ;)

  19. And one last thing – I’d recommend people check out Will Buxton’s view on the changes. He embraces the fact that a potentially messed up qualifying leads to good races.

    We’re not doing stupid time ballast, reverse grids, or anything of the sort. We’re simply turning up the wick a bit! Can’t wait!

  20. Nothing about a red flag procedure then?

    1. Session stopped. Timer freezed at when the red flag is announced. If the session resumed, the timer will be resumed at freezed time. If the session is cancelled, current classification becoming the grid for the race. Some slow team got lucky and start in front while some fast teams start in the back? Tough luck.

      In short, nothing changed from last year red flag procedure.

  21. I can not see anywhere in the regulations that the session times can be changed when running in other time zones (e.g. Melbourne) but the same was true of the 2015 Sporting Regulations. Does the FIA simply flout its own regulations in these cases?

    What would happen if Manor turned up at 14:00 and then protested all the teams that did not? Would they get the front row?

    1. @ians I think that’s because generally the qualification is scheduled on 14.00 local time. For special races (Singapore, Australia, etc) the explanation or clarification of the time changes probably on that specific race rules instead.

  22. I, for one, think this is a great idea, and I can’t wait to see it in action next week. Worst comes to worst, it’s an utter disaster and they go back to normal qualifying; but I’m of the opinion that this will not only entertaining for the fans, but also really fun and challenging for the drivers, especially given the stricter radio regulations this year.

  23. Drivers don’t like it, fans don’t like it. Solution? Gets through anyway…

    Is there any point in having any faith in the F1 status quo?

  24. I don’t actually mind this that much – not strictly needed but could be good nonetheless.

    One thing nobody’s talking about though is the impact if you still need to start on the same tyres you qualify on. We might end up in a situation where the top guys are on fresh tyres at the start having only done one comfortable run in Q2 and sat out the rest of the session, with the rest of the top 10 running 5 or 10 fast laps on their tyres to squeeze in. This could be quite a large penalty in the race, unable to catch up to those in front and being hassled from those behind, largely because of old tyres.

    I hope they at least get rid of this pointless rule to even it out a bit

  25. Alex McFarlane
    11th March 2016, 17:15

    What if a team can’t make it out before the elimination period starts?

    What if there’s a wet session and the teams can’t start until the elimination period starts?

    I guess they get to put at least one lap in and if they are fast enough they stay in?

  26. Aside from any other silly problems, the fact that there isn’t time for a whole lap of Spa in 90 seconds is ridiculous.

    1. Michael Brown
      11th March 2016, 23:40

      Most laps are longer than 90 seconds. Off the top of my head: Malaysia, Singapore, Spa, Silverstone, Abu Dhabi, Japan, China, Texas.

      The elimination interval should be 2 minutes.

      1. @matt90 I don’t follow your reasoning here – why does the fact several tracks have longer lap times than the elimination interval mean the interval should be higher?

        1. Surely the ‘excitement’ of elimination will be lost if you’re currently the 2nd slowest, but you know you won’t have time to complete your lap before the elimination after next. You just pit 100 seconds before the elimination after next cos you won’t have time to complete the lap.

        2. @keithcollantine If you find yourself a in the middle of setting hot laps but you are at a location on the track where you can’t even complete one in the time between one car being eliminated and the next, that to me is a flawed system. Surely part of the reason for the 90 seconds is so that everybody frantically pushes to improve their time, so that whoever is in the drop zone has the opportunity to move out (assuming they are on a hot lap already). But there will be situations where this is not even possible. I agree with Michael that 2 minutes makes a lot more sense.

  27. Quick question: What happens if after 7 minutes there are 2 more cars who haven’t yet posted a time? Which is disqualified? Both? Or can one of them still go out and post a time?

    1. @sez1981

      That’s an interesting question. It would only really come up in a situation where two cars aren’t able to start qualifying for some reason. Presumably under the previous rules there was some provision for determining grid positions for cars which didn’t take part in qualifying, so those rules could still apply? Just speculating really. I can’t remember a time when this has happened before off the top of my head.

      1. @mazdachris
        All it takes is for one guy to get delayed with problems in the pits while another spins out in sector 1. If he was on his out lap at seven minutes, could the guy who had been delayed in the pits continue?
        Or if two drivers gamble and leave it late cos the tracks getting quicker, only for a badly timed red flag…
        It may not happen but if there is a way for a team to stuff it up we’ll probably see it at some point :)

      2. Sporting regulations 35.1:
        During Q1, any driver whose best qualifying lap exceeds 107% of the fastest time set during that session, or who fails to set a time, will not be allowed to take part in the race. Under exceptional circumstances however, which may include setting a suitable lap time in a free practice session, the stewards may permit the car to start the race.
        Any driver accepted in this manner will be placed at the back of the starting grid after any other penalties have been applied.
        Should there be more than one driver accepted in this manner they will be arranged on the grid in the order they were classified in P3.

      3. At Monaco in 2013 neither Jules Bianchi nor Felipe Massa set a time in Q1. (Massa needed repairs after a FP3 crash and Bianchi’s car gave out before he set a timed lap.) Both started the race at the back of the grid, with Bianchi ahead of Massa based on a better FP3 time.

  28. @sez1981

    I’d assume in that example the person in the pits would be eliminated and the person on the track would be able to carry on.

    I guess before each Saturday they would have to produce a grid order based on some other metrics (championship position, practice times, etc) which would determine the grid in the event that nobody qualified. Then that could form the basis on which its decided the order in which drivers are eliminated if two or more haven’t set a time.

  29. I feel sorry for Codemasters. It’s gonna be one heck of a confusing video game this year!

    1. Duncan Snowden
      12th March 2016, 1:11

      Actually, I can’t help thinking someone got the idea for this after playing “party mode” on GRiD Autosport.

  30. The way these regs are written, I guess they’re not expecting a female driver anytime soon. ‘He’ this and ‘he’ that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.
If the person you're replying to is a registered user you can notify them of your reply using '@username'.