Felipe Massa, Williams, Albert Park, 2016

Elimination qualifying could remain for Bahrain

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Formula One’s unloved elimination qualifying format could be kept for the next round of the championship following reports it would be dropped.

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Thoughts on whether there’s been a noticeable increase in engine volume this year:

The volume from the F1 V8’s (and earlier engines) provided initial shock and awe. Beyond that, sustained incredible noise doesn’t do much for many people.

Watching at Albert Park the last few years, I find the lower noise level much more enjoyable. You can hear the crowd when something significant happens, you can hear more of the commentary, the kids cope better. An old twin seater V10 on a demonstration lap to provide a bit of ‘wow’ gets the job done.

A comparison to 2016 volumes compared to 2015? I thought last year that F1 was noticeably quieter than the V8 Supercars, and that this year they seemed to be on a par. So I think that there is a moderate volume increase for spectators this year. For me, a further increase in volume would detract from a few hours at the event.
Peter Barton

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Ayrton Senna scored his first home victory on this day 25 years ago. The McLaren driver won the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos despite being stuck in gear at the end of the race during a rain shower.

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  • 90 comments on “Elimination qualifying could remain for Bahrain”

    1. RaceProUK (@)
      24th March 2016, 0:08

      The teams don’t want it. The drivers don’t want it. The fans don’t want it. The media doesn’t want it. So why is Todt pushing for elimination qualifying?

      1. You just gave reasons…

        1. Exactly. Those at the top of F1 care about their power trip far more than the sport, those who work in it or the fans. It is shameful, and time we stopped watching our found careers elsewhere. Vote with your feet, ladies and gentlemen. It’s the only way out from under this oppressive regime.

          1. That should say “or found”.

      2. @raceprouk – +1 perfectly stated

      3. I’ve said this a couple times. If F1 wants more exciting Sunday’s, fix sunday’s then don’t mess up Saturday. F1 could devise a plan whereby the running order in qualifying does not mirror sunday’s results. Artificially hindering qualifying is dumb.

      4. Because the circuit owners wanted to spice up Saturdays, and there the ones who have the biggest bank accounts

        1. RaceProUK (@)
          24th March 2016, 12:54

          And as we saw in Melbourne, elimination qualifying did the opposite

          1. absolutely, but it was at there request to try something different.

      5. If they are going to try elimination format why not have for Q1 & Q2 only but have the timer count down for available places.
        Q1 – Fastest 5 through to Q2 after 10 mins then after every minute the next fastest driver makes it through, 7 cars eliminated.
        Q2 – Fastest 5 through to Q3 after 10 mins then after every minute the next fastest driver makes it through, 7 cars eliminated.
        Q3 – Top 8 cars with no elimination, 10 mins.

        1. This makes a lot of sense. Fastest cars go through first leaving the rest to fight it out. in the time remaining. It would add to the unpredictability where a team feels they have a safe time that turns out not to be. It would add to the excitement factor as all the scrapping cars would be in it right until the end of the session. Keeping Q3 in its original format works too, no need for elimination there.

        2. RaceProUK (@)
          24th March 2016, 12:55

          That… could actually work!

          1. Gavin Campbell
            24th March 2016, 14:23

            Oi get that CV into FOM/FIA pronto!

            Excellent idea!!

      6. ColdFly F1 (@)
        24th March 2016, 6:23

        This must the ‘smart and well considered adjustments’ the drivers are looking for.

        It seems I can use this response to all that is happening in F1.

      7. To save face for no reason… pathetic

      8. Unfortunately, as I understand, the promoters and sponsors of F1 want the qualifying change so the FIA is sort of forced to look like they’re doing something to change the old format through fear of a backlash.

        1. William Jones
          24th March 2016, 10:38

          Well for goodness sake, if we’re going to be forced into it, then at least make sure the teams get out on track and fight – give them tyres for the session an take them away after whether they use them or not, then you’ll see everyone fighting tooth and nail for lap times, or at least taking advantage of free testing.

          1. ColdFly F1 (@)
            24th March 2016, 11:26

            the FIA is sort of forced

            That’s exactly the problem with FIA and Todt, @alilane4.
            The FIA should set the technical and sporting rules independently of FOM and others. They should grow a spine and start standing up for making F1 a robust sport. They should read what the drivers wrote yesterday and develop a clear ‘master plan (which) should reflect the principles and core values of Formula 1’.
            As much as I blame BE for not understanding current media and fans, and keeping most of the money for him self, I blame FIA/JT for not regulating the sport by setting clear and consistent rules.

      9. We already had an elimination qualifying… it was every 15 mins or so 6 cars dropped out leaving a top 10 shoot out.

    2. Blimey, Todt’s alive! And he’s backing the wrong horse, pushing for something completely useless.
      Remember when football went to sudden death in extra time? The Golden Goal, and what a load of Ratners that was? That’s what elimination qualifying is. No chance for the slowest driver to respond. Or the next two or three – Q2 was rubbish with them dropping out in twos and threes, not one by one.

    3. Omar R (@omarr-pepper)
      24th March 2016, 0:35

      If they want to keep the elimination, at least let the drivers complete the lap they are running.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        24th March 2016, 6:26

        But @omarr-pepper, how could that work? What about the person who is ‘without a chair’ then and still on track?

        Don’t try to be Todt; just recognise that it didn’t work and revert to the proven plan.

        1. I don’t understand what you mean by without a chair?

          1. ColdFly F1 (@)
            24th March 2016, 9:03

            Mike – elimination quali is like ‘musical chairs’; hence ‘without a chair’.

            1. Well, presumably then the chair would only be taken away when no one can improve.

              For example, Massa is in the drop spot, Hamilton ahead, then the time goes 0, but Massa is still on a lap. Massa is only out once he crosses the line. Hamilton, if also on a lap, would be able to finish that if Massa went quicker.

        2. @coldfly

          Many people here are like @omarr-pepper . Never stopping to think for 1 seconds before they say something. This is why I firmly believe F1 should not listen to fans beyond some minor tweaks, once they have a well-established idea already. But only quantitative research, with a well-thought out questions. No small samples with questions like “what should we improve” and nonsense like that.

          1. Just because you don’t agree doesn’t mean he didn’t think about it.
            That’s once of the silly things with humans, we assume that someone who we think is wrong must be stupid or crazy. Not the case.

        3. @coldfly @biggsy @mike @georgeod tbh well yes I didn’t think so much about the long tracks and stuff. It happens I was just skimming while I was at work yesterday (and I’m not supposed to log on F1F while I’m there :P).
          So I’m not trying either to be Todt, or I’m a fan who usually shoots before aiming, just that. So let’s go back to 2015 quali and no more trash thrown on fans.

      2. @omarr-pepper That wouldn’t work. On long laps, if driver A finished the lap that they had just started with 1 second left on the countdown clock, then it would take longer than 90 seconds for them to complete their lap. If the new lap time was quicker, they would overtake other drivers in the timing standings. Suppose Driver A has advanced one place in the standings and overtaken Driver B. That would mean that Driver B drops out because they don’t have any time to respond – they would have already been eliminated because 90 seconds has passed since the countdown clock stopped on Driver A, therefore by definition, the next driver has been eliminated.

        The fact that I explained that in 5 lines of text demonstrates that elimination qualifying is too complex.

        Additionally on the subject of making the sessions longer, I think this would help somewhat because it’s difficult to process the consequences in my head. All I can say is that elimination qualifying works better on shorter tracks i.e. tracks with lower laptimes. The lap of Albert Park is probably around average for a laptime in F1 in 2016. Bahrain is longer so if they do trial qualifying there, I don’t think it will work.

        Finally, were Q1 and Q2 more exciting than previously? I don’t think so. Keeping the sessions in their current form isn’t satisfactory for me.

    4. Honestly first 7 minutes of Q1 were excellent… After that…

      Fix the glaring problems..

      Maybe elimination for Q1, old style Q2, and pre old… single lap each Q3.

      1. @jureo have to say that i disagree with that, i thought every second of the elimination qualifying was just plain awful to the point that if any part of it remains I won’t watch another f1 qualifying session.

        as martin brundle put it during the live coverage he spent more time looking at clocks & timing screens than he did watching the track action & watching at home it was the same for me. trying to figure out who is to be eliminated & who best stands a chance of bumping themselves in & all that requires you look at the clocks & timing screens, the track action on tv becomes largely irrelevant.

        many who were at the circuit also pointed that out, they had no idea what was happening because they don’t have access to the timing information that commentators & fans watching at home have access to & even if they did like brundle said they would be spending more time looking at the timing displays than they would watching the track.

        the whole elimination gimmick is rubbish, they should crap it entirely for the whole of qualifying!

        1. Very well said PeterG. It is complete rubbish. We want to see drivers on track putting up better laps to best their competitors. That is what is important. I can watch clocks instead in my own home without the benefit of F1, if I so desired.

          Either those in charge are slow learners or don’t want to admit they made a mistake in the first place. My vote is for the latter.

        2. I don’t get the clock-watching argument at all. Since the drivers do not all start their qualifying lap at exactly the same time (like runners in a 100m sprint), you cannot ‘physically’ see who is the fastest. Whatever format, qualifying will always be an exercise in clock watching.

          Furthermore 2015-style qualifying is 2016-style qualifying with elinination intervals set to 0 seconds. Which means all the relevant action will take place around the cut-off time and the first 90% of the session will be, hmm, less interesting. I mean, most of the times last year I had qualifying on but doing other things and only I glanced at the TV when the session timer was at 00:00.

          1. I totally agree. The first 10min of every session was completly useless before. Even in its current format i prefer the eliminatuon becouse i can live with no cars the last 4mins if it means the 30min before that is interesting.

            Also you always look at the clock in qualifying Brundle of all people should know that. There has been dozens of articles stating that theres no difference in how the cars looks in race pace vs qualifying, its only the times. Now suddenly its the opposite.

            1. Except the 30 minutes before it *wasn’t* interesting. There was no drama, just drivers climbing out of cars without having even had the opportunity to try. It was the most boring spectacle I have ever seen.

            2. The 2016 method is a front loaded deadline, a reverse deadline if you will. In my mind the 2015 version of an end deadline of so many minutes before your time runs out is logical. Everyone knows when time runs out.

              It is not logical that while in the midst of a fantastic lap that would keep you in the hunt or even catapult you to the top, your time runs out, even though when you started your lap you were not in the elimination zone. So, you had control over your lap and performed greatly, but an unknown variable out of your control could eliminate possibly the best lap by anyone in the session. Oops, sorry mate, you should have begun your lap 10 seconds earlier even if it was physically impossible.

              I would rather see the best lap within a known quantifiable time period rewarded than the best lap within an unquantifiable time period excluded.

              The only variation of this type of elimination type knockout that would begin to be acceptable would be if drivers about to be knocked out were allowed to finish their current lap and that time is counted. Even then, it still means that the end of Q3 is likely to see little if any action at all in an anticlimactic finish to qualifying each time.

            3. But the 2016-style qualifying can be fixed with the following simple detail changes at no cost at all:

              – Shorten elimination intervals to 60 seconds (instead of 90 sec). Then there’s more time for the early laps and a pit stop.
              – Ban refuelling during qualifying. Then pit stops will be much shorter and the more laps you do, the faster you get (theoretically).
              – Instead of returning 2 sets of tyres after Practice 3, return these tyres after Qualifying. Now there are two more sets available, that can’t be used in the race: no need to save them.

              If done like this, there is still the need to go out early, but drivers at the bottom end of the time table will have a fighting chance to improve. Hence, action all session long.

            4. @bullmello
              I agree that being able to finish your lap sounds good at first glance but with lap times being longer than the knockout intervals it could get very messy. There could theoreticly still be cars finishing their laps when the next knockout time hits.

              The interval would have to be longer than any laptime of the calendar for that to work and it still would be very strange.

    5. @f1fanatic – (honest question) can you elaborate on the connection between Sky and the GPDA statement?

      I thought the GPDA statement was about the rules/governing process… What’s the connection between that and the free-to-air situation?

      1. Read the article, sky have live rights for all races till 2024 with a new deal done

      2. @fletchuk
        I wonder if Keith was hinting to a self censorship from sky because of the new exclusive tv deal and the unfavourable comments from gpda. Fairly standard media behaviour. Don’t bite the hand that feeds and all that.
        I’ll look to his answer but that’s what I got from it..

    6. Joining in the spirit of the day I have a couple of suggestions for fixing other things that ain’t broke (yet);
      STARTS; In order to add an element of unpredictability to race starts we should adopt the old Le Mans system with the cars angle parked against the pit wall and the drivers lined up opposite waiting for a celebrity or dignitary to wave a flag before they can run to the car, jump in and drive away. Should this not work due to to many fatalities we can adopt the rolling start instead, because let’s face it, grid starts have been working well for far too long.

      SAFETY CARS; We should adopt the American system of bringing out the safety car every 10 mins, this would allow teams to mix up their tactics by giving them the choice of tyre changes on laps 6,12,18 etc. with the added benefit of commercial breaks not interrupting any on track action that may occur.

      Further suggestions please, they must be lot’s of ways we can change F1 to make it fresher and more incomprehensible.

      1. RACE DISTANCE: Allowing teams to optimise their cars, strategy, tyres and fuel for a predictable race distance produces predictable racing. We should revise the race distance every fifteen minutes during the race. The revision could be made by an algorithm that tries to favour the cars running last, by a five-year-old child, or by an 85-year-old man.

        FUEL: Using the same fuel every time makes the engineering too easy, which again results in too much predictability. Bring back refuelling, and each time the cars pit the rig delivers fuel randomly selected from a list including petrol, diesel, LPG, ethanol, avgas, hydrogen, and vegetable oil.

        DRIVER/CAR ASSIGNMENTS: Following qualifying, each driver is assigned to each car on the grid by random ballot.

        DRIVER CONTROLS RE-ASSIGNMENT: At race start, and each time the driver pits, all the buttons and dials on their steering wheel are randomly re-assigned.

        For further ideas I suggest a listen to Peter Ustinov’s Grand Prix of Gibraltar, which is sounding less and less absurd as the years go by.

        1. @HoHum, @moblet You know what I don’t find funny? Your suggestions.
          You may consider it a joke but ideas such as yours are taken quite seriously by Bernie and co :)

          1. @tata, it’s either laugh or cry, each to his/her own.

            1. Absolutely.
              In a comment on one of the articles yesterday, someone actually said he/she was laughing and crying at the same time for F1. Such a shame that the sport we love so much has reached that point of frustration for some.

          2. I liked Bernie’s idea of a sprinkler-system, randomly wetting the track. May be they can introduce a public trigger system, everyone can vote for this, and at certain threshold: instant drama… (o boy, how I don’t like the FE fan boost, this is 101 for how to destroy the motorsport).

        2. Haha hilarious ;D

        3. Excellent suggestions @moblet, but as a fan why am I not involved?… I have a god given right.

          For example, could the tyre choice for a given driver not be decided by a Twitter poll? The potential for only sets of ultra-softs being available in a race would increase pit-stops, and hence increase the chance of mechanic ‘egg-on-face’ entertainment.

          In another example (inspired by wipeout and mariokart) could a driver with the most votes on twitter get an artificial ‘boost’ of some sort? Could be called ‘fanboost’ or even ‘bernieboost’.

          1. Lewisham Milton
            24th March 2016, 23:34

            That wouldn’t work – Rio Haryanto would get all the tyres.

        4. ‘by a five-year-old child, or by an 85-year-old man’

          Well played, sir, well played …

        5. Wait a sec, this is a joke? I thought Bernie was testing the newest batch of his ideas under an assumed identity.


      2. RADIO CHANNEL ASSIGNMENT: Each time a driver or team presses the talk button on their radio, all the teams’ radio frequencies are re-assigned, while the drivers’ frequencies remain unchanged. Then the team won’t know which driver they’re talking to, and the driver won’t know which team they’re talking to.

        1. Excellent work @moblet, of course we will need to implement these changes one by one to keep the teams on their toes, should be good for about 3 seasons I reckon.

          1. Yes @hohum, but the teams should not be informed of the changes until after the race.

            1. Genius, pure genius, move over Bernie, @moblet is ready to take charge.

        2. Broadcasting the radio live should produce endless laughs, F1 definitely lacks comedy.

        3. Haha imagine “Nico, pit this lap”. “But I just did”. “No, the other Nico pitted”. “I am the other Nico”. “Oh sorry, wrong number”.

      3. ColdFly F1 (@)
        24th March 2016, 6:29

        GEARS: the engine control unit randomly is replaced by a slot machine. Every time a driver changes gear he’ll end up with a random gear, including reverse.

      4. GUEST PIT CREW MEMBER: each pit crew requires a guest wheel changer to help remove the front left wheel. This could be a celebrity or the poorer teams could sell this opportunity to the highest bidder.

        To promote close racing andside by side action, the driver on pole is ‘it’ and gets given the ‘hot potato’. They can keep the hot potato for a maximum of 3 laps. If they still have it, then they get a drive through penalty.
        To get rid of the hot potato, you must successfully throw it into another driver’s cockpit.
        N.B. If Halo is implemented, then each car will be given a P-duct on either side of the cockpit for the hot potato to land in.
        Radio communication bans any messages about who currently has the hot potato.

        a variant on the elimination theme, in a bid to encourage drivers to push hard throughout the race.
        After x number of laps, the driver with the slowest ‘fastest race lap’ so far has three laps to improve or is eliminated from the race. If they improve, they are safe and the person who now has the slowest time has 3 laps, etc. If everyone is good enough at responding, then we may not have many cars knocked out.

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          24th March 2016, 11:34

          I’m a bit disappointed @eurobrun; your Sunday Driver Elimination idea is actually quite good. It allows the slower drivers to get some airtime (albeit behind a decoder from 2019).

          1. Tell me about I was laughing my head off until I read that comment, and thought, that actually makes quite a bit of sense.

            I think what we all really want is a bit of Mario Kart mixed with the Wacky Races :D.

      5. Bernie has you all beat anyways – didn’t he float some years ago the idea of alternate layouts within tracks whereby some cars could take a different route than others? We’ve been laughing for a long time, but I think it’s become clearer that if he’d had his way, we really would have no more than a sideshow circus featuring cars.

    7. For Q3 which is the meaty part, I suggest: 5 (or so) minutes within which drivers must do 2 timed qualy laps, which aIllows commencing 2nd lap within the 5 minutes. (4:59, cross line to start lap, best track conditions etc)

      This equals cars close together on track at similar times, trying to improve or fix a bad 1st try and get final lap in as close to time out as possible.

      Is Similar to old q3 but with the 2 Timed laps on free tyres (not used for race) stipulation. Top guys seeing who can go quickest, no funny business.

    8. Just when we got our hopes up that there was someone sensible in F1 (when they immediately threw out the elimination qualifying after the debacle) it now shows exactly how convulted the rule making and leadership of F1 is by making us endure their experiments again.

      And then they knock down the UK market another few pegs by hiding behind a pay wall /sattelite dish.

    9. Well thank god that Jean Todt is spending his time desperately trying to save the disaster of a qualifying system, that they introduced to fix something that was perfectly fine to begin with. It must surely mean that they have solved every other problem in motorsport. No?

    10. Why fix something that isn’t broken? Why this obsession with changing everything every now and then?

      1. Because F1’s income is collapsing.

      2. Because Bernie sucks as a promoter and the sport isn’t gaining much viewers and he things that throwing crazy ideas to mix the races is the answer since to him is all about being an entertaining circus show instead of a decent competition.
        But like circus shows he is long passed his expiration date and doesn’t realize that no one is impressed by circus shows anymore.

    11. The Sky Sports website might just be waiting for the news to become out of date before publishing it.
      Sky’s commitment to yesterday’s news and pictures of cameramen is second to none.

    12. We discovered F1 live on the BBC in the 1990s. I can remember Mansell winning the championship in 1992. I still remember Senna’s death like it was yesterday (I was 10 years old). Work and other commitments mean I saw little F1 between 2001 and 2008, but the switch back to the BBC in 2009 seemed like a good opportunity to get back into it. I loved it. But the last few years have been a bit of turn off – not the racing, but the sport’s depressing ambition to eat itself and increasing disinterest in retaining me, who can’t afford Sky, as a viewer. I didn’t see the Australian GP and had been meaning to catch the highlights this week. I think I might not bother now. At its best, F1 was like a best friend with whom I kept in close touch. It’s decided not to return my calls now, so I think I’ll go and watch something else.

      1. Trust me trying to watch the race on catch-up on 4 is painful

        You spend more time watching adverts than the race and if you skip some of the intro you don’t know where the race starts and every time you skip slightly you have to watch another 3 minutes of adverts.I wanted to stab myself in the face

    13. By attempting to hang on to the ridiculous new system despite its obvious failings seems to be nothing more than an exercise in face saving by the powers that be. The best thing to do will be to go back to the old knock-out system. Every single fan of the sport knows that is the best thing to do.

    14. And i though some sense have prevailed………. nope these guys are hopeless as the guy in a casino who keep loosing more money in a bid to get all the lost money.

    15. From the comment of the day:

      ‘An old twin seater V10 on a demonstration lap to provide a bit of ‘wow’ gets the job done.’

      Shouldn’t the ‘wow’ not come from the current cars though? It sums things up perfectly that the ‘wow’ has come from a demo of an old V10………..

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        24th March 2016, 11:42

        That would be the ‘wow’ though of people who watch F1 for the noise rather than the sport.
        Probably the same people who go to a Miss Universe pageant for the beautiful women rather than to understand how to achieve world peace.

        1. @coldfly

          I doubt you find anyone who watches f1 only ‘for the noise’.

          It is important I think to note that F1 is rarely particularly great for ‘pure racing’ and historically has tended not to be. If race fans want pure wheel-to-wheel racing, they would be massively better off watching such as karts, Formula Ford, or the Clio Cup.

          So F1 has provided pre-hybrid era something else, and for many, myself included, a large part of that was a viscerally intoxicating spectacle.

          Forgive me, but I did not understand the Miss Universe reference. A lot goes over my head though…….:)

          1. ColdFly F1 (@)
            24th March 2016, 18:57

            probably my failed attempt to get sarcasm and double sarcasm into 1 response.

            1. I got it, @coldfly but then I used to read the editorial content, book reviews and other articles in Playboy when Hef was in control.

    16. ILuvSoundtracks (@)
      24th March 2016, 10:57

      If it doesn’t get better, just drop it.

      1. @iluvsoundtracks

        Very, very close to that.

    17. ‘Spicing up the show’ is not a new idea. We had 15 years of refuelling in an effort to invigorate races, which to my mind did not need it. When it comes to qualifying we have had endless issues. If you look back at most of the great races throughout the last 20 years, either rain or a mixed-up grid or both have contributed to the excitement. I don’t deny this but they are great because they are rare. Every race in the rain would grate after a while. For anyone harking back to the old 12 lap format let’s remember that the first half hour normally featured a Minardi running round for air time as the big boys waited for the track to rubber in. In that hour, most of the time you only cared about the last 15 minutes so if it was introduced tomorrow there would still be complaints that it is not entertaining enough.

      One lap qualifying was utterly stupid. The sessions were boring and always favoured the later runners. It was also unfair given that you were not on track at the same time as your competitors. Race fuel qualifying was nonsense too. Why would anyone watch qualifying if it wasn’t about being the fastest?

      Knockout qualifying suffered from this to an extent as well. There were races when we knew the teams could go faster on another run but chose to save tyres for the race. That is a flawed idea as the fans lose out to satisfy a needless tyre rule. Why are tyres limited and restricted so much? The change this season came much too late, it should have been in from the start of the Pirelli era. The best format is knockout with unlimited tyres. We do not need to save money on tyres. The should be no arguments about air travel pollution around them either. It was an unnecessary rule to ‘spice up the show’ when the sport was better without intervention.

    18. well, if you want to prove the GPDA statement true, that’s the way to do it. They had an stupid idea that no one liked and were told it wouldn’t work but did it anyways. It didn’t work, no one liked it, it’s easy to fix…..and don’t fix it. just wow. I won’t even bother to watch it.

    19. Alex McFarlane
      24th March 2016, 13:17

      I just knew as Monday came and went, that the opportunity to take the heroic option of employing Occam’s Razor – admitting failure and scrapping the new qualifying format (at least until they could think about it properly, i.e. next season), was going to be more remote.

      The powers that be just can’t help themselves, they’ve put themselves in a situation where they are having to rush into last minute tweaks, which will undoubtably do nothing to make the rules less convoluted, and leaves everyone having to ‘wait-and-see’ if they work yet again, rather than give teams the stability of something that by and large worked ok.

      I shudder to think that if the tweaks fail again, what the backlash will be and how it’s going to impact on the season and the repercussions of the sport going forward, given that the satisfaction of most involved seems to be at an all time low.

    20. Martin Brundle claims that the 2016 pack of cars is the closest in time than it has been for the last decade and I agree with that. The new qualifying format doesn’t allow for this to be shown because only two or three cars at a time are fighting to stay in qualifying (i.e. Palmer, Ericsson and Magnussen at the end of Q1).

      The criticisms of the new format revolve around the lack of action with cars having to refuel and fit another set of tyres. If we give more time for drivers to complete their laps then doesn’t that favour the faster cars who will be given a greater opportunity to set a quick lap time thus not mixing up the grid on Sunday’s (which was one reason for changing qualifying in the first place.

      Regardless of ‘tweaking’ the new format or not, it makes very little difference to the line-up on the grid for Sunday. The grid we saw on Sunday was one equally achievable with last year’s format which was of far greater excitement than the one shown in Australia.

      I’d say I don’t know the reason why we won’t just revert back to the old qualifying system but the answer (as nonsensical as it is) is pretty clear to us all I’m suspecting.

    21. They could make the following tweaks to qualifying:

      For both Q1 and Q2
      a) Increase the session length by 1 minute (Q1 from 16 minutes up to 17 minutes, Q2 from 15 minutes up to 16 minutes)
      b) Reduce the total number of cars to be eliminated from 7 cars down to 6 cars
      c) Increase the time between each car being eliminated from 1 minute 30 seconds up to 2 minutes

      For Q3
      a) Decrease the session length by 2 minutes (from 14 minutes down to 12 minutes)
      b) Remove the elimination aspect and allow all cars that made it through Q2 to take part throughout the whole session

      This would basically keep Q1 and Q2 as elimination sessions with minor tweaks and Q3 would revert back to exactly the same as it was in 2015.

    22. Get rid of the countdown clock. Do it on individual lap-times per lap. Have an initial running period, and then…

      7 drivers are eliminated in Q1, so that’s a 7 lap run for EVERYONE. End of lap 1, slowest lap-time eliminated. RESET EVERYONE’S LAP TIME. End of lap 2, slowest lap-time eliminated. RESET EVERYONE’S LAP TIME. End of lap 3, slowest lap-time eliminated. RESET EVERYONE’S LAP TIME, etc, until you’ve eliminated the 7 cars, then that’s the end of Q1. Do the same for Q2. Same for Q3. Brings in tyre and fuel strategy aswell.

      If we absolutely HAVE to go elimination-qualifying, that’s how I’d do it, but personally, I just want the “old” 12-lap qualifying hour back, where that hour is made up of 4x 15mins mini-sessions so EVERY driver has to set a hot-lap every session. Maybe have a running order, whereby a car leaves the pits every 20-30secs, fastest car in the previous session runs last, so from a sporting perspective, any track advantage has been EARNED.

      Fastest starts first, slowest starts last.

    23. Is there anyone involved in the running of this sport that isn’t a complete halfwit? Bernie is senile. Todt is so hands off he may as well not exist. The Strategy Group is clueless.

      Meanwhile, the only people who seem actively concerned about the direction of the sport (the drivers) are fairly powerless, unless they want to use the nuclear option and go on strike. Which they won’t.

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