Should F1 try the proposed new aggregate qualifying format?

Debates and Polls

Posted on

| Written by

Formula One chiefs and team bosses are considering a proposal to adjust the format of qualifying due to the unpopularity of the ‘elimination’ system introduced this year.

The latest plan would require each driver to set at least two laps per phase of qualifying. Their qualifying time in each session would be an aggregate of the two times.

Would this fix the shortcomings of the elimination system? Which is the best solution to F1’s qualifying row?

The new aggregate qualifying system

The biggest drawback of the elimination qualifying format has been that drivers spend too little time on track. By forcing them to do at least two laps in Q1, Q2 and Q3 we will see an immediate increase in the amount of track action.

With drivers able to set further laps later in the session to improve their times, the aggregate time proposal could create further surprises in qualifying.

The original elimination qualifying system

Ditching the elimination system would be an embarrassing U-turn. It would also be too hasty: the full implications of the new format won’t be understood until it has been used for at least a few more races, perhaps even an entire season.

Keeping it would give fans and teams alike more time to adjust to it and appreciate its qualities as well as its flaws.

The previous 2015 qualifying system

The strongest argument against the new qualifying format was always that there wasn’t anything wrong with the old one. It was widely understood yet still capable of producing surprise results: the most recent time it was used one of the front-running teams made a mistake and had a car knocked out in Q1.

As a compromise solution the elimination format has clearly failed to present a new obstacle for the front-running teams. Rather, as suggested here previously, it may only have made things easier for them. Going back to the old system will be straightforward and avoid the sport having to explain another new format.

I say

Any new proposal deserves to get a fair hearing on its merits. One of the shortcomings of the elimination qualifying format is that drivers do far fewer laps in qualifying than they used to. This new idea will address that – at least for those drivers who at present can progress from one round to the next having done just one lap.

The potential upsides seem to end there. As every driver will now have to do two laps on their first runs, the amount of time available for subsequent runs will be reduced. We could see more running at the start of each session but even less at the end.

The aggregate system has worrying hallmarks of the disastrous format introduced for just six races in 2005 and then dropped. It will encourage drivers to be more conservative by averaging out the negative effects of a single poor lap and the benefits of a super-quick flying effort. This seems to contradict another stated aim, that being to create opportunities to mix up the grid.

Finally there is the problem of complexity. On top of following which drivers are at risk of dropping out every 90 seconds, we will now need to know if the lap time each driver is on averaged with their previous best lap time is quick enough for them to proceed.

On balance this seems a considerably worse solution than the existing one. Given how unpopular elimination qualifying has proved, that is a pretty damning assessment.

It’s time for the talking to stop. The teams must dig their heels in and refuse to consider anything other than a return to last year’s qualifying format. That will leave the powers-that-be with no options other than to either swallow the hated new system or go back to the one that worked – but either way bring this miserable episode to an end and allow the sport to concentrate on more pressing problems. Like not changing things that weren’t broken to begin with.

You say

Should F1 stick with the current elimination qualifying system, switch to the proposed new one, go back to the old one – or do something else?

Vote for which choice you most prefer and have your say in the comments:

Which qualifying format should F1 use?

  • None of the above (6%)
  • The previous 2015 qualifying system (87%)
  • The original elimination qualifying system (2%)
  • The new aggregate qualifying system (5%)

Total Voters: 428

 Loading ...

An F1 Fanatic account is required in order to vote. If you do not have one, register an account here or read more about registering here. When this poll is closed the result will be displayed in stead of the voting form.

Debates and polls

Browse all debates and polls

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.

101 comments on “Should F1 try the proposed new aggregate qualifying format?”

  1. It’s flawed. More tyres would be required as well as more durable tyres.

    I’ll continue my broken record theme: I want the 2015 format back and nothing different. It’s not that difficult.

    1. Agreed. It’s hard to see how aggregate qualifying would mix up the grid any more than the 2015 system. As yesterday showed, the Mercedes’ pace will assert itself in any format.

      1. Pretty damn conclusive what we, the really keen enthusiasts for F1, want.
        Not that we are of the least importance according to a certain Ecclestone person.

    2. At this point it is a matter of principle. The fans, drivers and teams have all universally spoken and said that they want the old system from last year back. It should be reinstated immediately, and Bernie Ecclestone and Jean Todt should both resign immediately for failing to listen to the fans, drivers or teams and putting their own selfish self interests before everything else.

      Of course it won’t happen, because the only racing left in Formula One is the race to the bottom.

    3. Lack of tyres is the main reason for little running during Qualifying. It they don’t change it, nothing will actually improve.

      Adding 2 quick lap times together will make drivers run 2 consecutive fast laps with medium sets? I would like to hear how teams would go with the 2 lap times system. Their strategy guys and girls will have answers ready in couple of days…

    4. The problem is. The old one is not an option, they want something capable of having a bigger influence on sunday. I am not even answering the poll because one of those solutions is not even being considered by F1.

      Average times may add a surprise factor because it will punish errors and at least gives us more entertainment (isn’t that what we are missing?)

      1. But average times mean we would rarely, if ever, see a new qualifying record where somebody goes out totally balls to the wall for that one flying lap….you’d just tear up your tyres and leaver yourself open for more problems. Instead, they’ll just run two “good enough” laps.

        I watch Qualifying to see teams on the absolute, ONE lap limit as fast as they can go!

        1. They still have to do the best two possible laps, you will have your one lap time for the record books.

          It will be exactly the same as what we usually had, but the average of theirs best two laps is what counts

          There is no tactics here, drivers go out they do a hot lap, they come in change tyres and refuel, they do another hot lap. There is no formula you can’t calculate good enough laps because you don’t know what others are doing.

          And we will see plenty of running troughout the quali, at least compared to what we have now

          We won’t revert to the old format at least lets ditch this nonsense. Is ti embarassing? Well F1 has been embarassing itself for a few years now it never stopped them

        2. Mark in Florida
          3rd April 2016, 19:51

          They keep claiming that the promoters want something different. I haven’t seen anything that backs that claim at all. If they want to save tires and money just have Friday practice. Take the times from highest to lowest then have a blind drawing for each team to see where they will start. Instead of watching the current farce on Saturday they can use it as a practice to adjust their cars instead of being in parc ferme. This is wrote in some sarcasm but it makes more sense than Bernie.

        3. That’s why an aggregate system is pants you would not see drivers on the edge. This weekend Hamilton may have ran 2 conservative laps rather than mess 1 up then pull that blinder out 2nd time of asking. If I want aggregate times I saw that on Sunday when the best time over 57 laps counted. Plus they have no tyres for this or will just run q3 on hard compound tyres. To really ruin it they will probably ask for an aggregate time using 2 different tyre compounds or to get over tyre supply without bringing more tyres 1 lap on wet tyres 1 on slicks.

  2. It’s frustrating that the FIA and Bernie are ignoring what the teams and fans want. The elimination format is not wanted by so many people, yet the powers that be seem to remain oblivious to that fact. It’s sad to see this happening to the sport I love so much.

    1. Not just ignoring, but beligerently ignoring. They seem to be saying that no matter what, the format we had last year is not an option and never again will be an option.

      This has all the hallmarks of deliberately creating a crisis so as to be able to push through something that otherwise couldn’t happen. My guess is this is Bernie’s way of getting the entire governance structure (the Strategy Group, the requirement for unanimous approval, etc.) scrapped and replaced with a single entity (i.e. Bernie himself) who can make decisions by decree.

      If it works, I hope the engine manufacturers call his bluff and all pull out of F1 at the same time.

      1. I think you’re right. If we end up with the Grand Prix World Championship, or something similar, then so be it. I’d rather have a sport where the views of the teams, drivers and fans are taken into account when discussing new rules, formats & regulations rather than the belligerently ignorant stance the FIA and Bernie are taking right now. I remember the potential split back in 2009 – the news broke whilst I was at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix! If a GPWC ends up happening, and the manufacturers all pull out, then it’s going to be interesting to see what Bernie can do to try to salvage the sport he’s had a big hand in running for many years, and I’d argue ruining it for quite a few years as well. Not even allowing the teams to choose the option they clearly want is frankly insulting, in my view.

  3. I just want this to stop now.

    It was bemusing at first. Then sad. Then pathetic. Now it’s just plain depressing.

    Give us the 2015 qualifying system and end this sorry chapter. Todt and Ecclestone’s utter contempt for F1’s fans makes it simply beyond belief that they both continue to wield such power over this brilliant sport.

    1. @willwood: “It was bemusing at first. Then sad. Then pathetic. Now it’s just plain depressing.”

      Wise words. Although I’m a fan of a single lap qualifying session, but FOM rather like quantity over quality.

  4. Previous. Period.

  5. It’s mortifying that F1 just does not learn. Aggregate qualifying did not work in 2005. Elimination qualifying does not work in 2016. What do we propose? Mixing up the two.

    Honestly, if the 2006-2015 system is completely off the table, just go back to 1996-2003 qualifying but with tweaks. Give them the proper amount of tyres, mandatory 3 laps per 15 minutes or so. It just doesn’t make sense to me that they’re talking about mixing up the gird and having more action all the while making sure less and less cars partake in qualifying while time progresses..

  6. Qualifying doesn’t need to be complicated, the 2015 model was as complex as qualifying should get (ie not really). Besides, mixing up the grid is pointless when the cars have so much difficulty overtaking.

    1. This is where this sorry mess comes from. People thinking its too difficult to overtake.

      Overtaking is easy in F1 due to DRS. The problem is its boring due to DRS.

      That is our problem, not mercedes, not qualifying, not Lewis Hamiltons fake glasses or sebastian never ending interviews or Alonso in ability to get a decent car… Granted those last 3 are irritating but not a big deal!

      Get rid of DRS or as a friend suggested to me allow DRS until you 0.1 of a second behind the car then let it close so he has to do the rest himself. Then the race will be exciting cars can follow each other and drivers will still be able to defend! Its not that hard is it?

      1. pastaman (@)
        3rd April 2016, 16:06

        And when can you ever get within .1s of the car in front with the current aero? Maybe if you are a Mercedes coming up on a Manor.

        1. With DRS??? have you not seen F1 lately they are overtaking all the time. Overtaking isn’t an issue don’t make it one or Bernie will add more DRS zones….

          1. pastaman (@)
            4th April 2016, 13:22

            You suggested no DRS until you are in .1s of the car in front

  7. What the promoters want is more happy fans visiting cricuits, so why not give the fans what they want?

  8. Another stupid plan.

    Every driver required to do two runs in each quali session means no-one saves tyres so no-one is on a different “more new tyres” strategy in the race which often leads to good battles.

    Also will mean less airtime for smaller teams as big teams will be out for the whole session.

    And still unnecessarily complicated – replacing a countdown clock with a calculator to add up the times.

    Nothing wrong with 2015, every team & almost all fans want it back, almost every journalist supports that & is reporting it yet FOM & FIA refuse? Something else going on.

  9. Might make qualifying more active, but it will also make it more predictable, according to the central limit theorem (look it up).
    Q3 participants will have used two more sets of tires than those eliminated in Q2, that might mix things up in the race.
    I wonder if they’ll insist that each lap is done on a different compound, just to make it even harder to follow.

  10. Look, while I saw no good reason to upset the part of F1 that more often than not had me watching with excitement, If they really see a need for change, fine.

    But please, pretty please, do not do it this way – knee jerk, Bernie coming up with a crazy thing he thinks/hopes/pretends it will solve any issue he sees (usually “to spice up the show”), then the teams agree to a slightly less horrible solution (and are not given the sensible choice to NOT change anything on the fly, right now.).

    Instead they should formulate what the system should achieve, maybe do a bit of brainstorming so that everyone can feel creative and part of finding a solution and agree on a follow up meeting. The teams and the FIA can then analyse the pros and cons, and next time they can discuss these. Based on that, we need a small team of people (including ex drivers/stewards and engineers as well as key suppliers) to compare the 3-4 best ideas on their merits and risks, and THEN put them up for a vote. Off course not introducing them a week before the season starts.

    In other words, pretty much exactly as they are doing with the halo. And exactly what the drivers asked them to do.

    1. Well said @bascb, that would be the right way to go about this.

  11. I can think of a few more cons to the aggregate system.

    Aggregating the times for two laps will double the gap in performance between two teams making a “Noah’s ark” grid even more likely. It will also make it even easier for the teams with the biggest performance advantages to get out of Q1 & Q2 safely, as their drivers will have the least need to push to the limit.

    The driver who sets the fastest lap may not be the one to get pole position (ending this link was one of the reasons for the unpopularity of the previous aggregate system in 2005).

  12. It’s tempting to say anything but the 2015 format. This way, F1 can be helped fall apart even more quickly than it is currently doing.

    I’m surprised they haven’t suggested ‘paper-scissors-rock’ as a way of determining the grid order.

  13. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
    3rd April 2016, 13:33

    Why don’t they mix 2015 quali with the aggregated one they want to introduce now?
    The driver “shouts out” when he is starting his 2-lap attempt (could be announced by the team to Charlie) and he has to try his best 2 laps in a row.
    This is the best possible way to mix things a little. We have seen many times a driver has a scruffy lap and then a good one. Even more, it’s a chance to get rid of Q1-q2-q3 format. Because maybe more time is needed to do installation lap, they could try a quali only splitted in 2. So every team could give the guys at least 2 attempts, maybe 3 in 25 min, with a gap for sponsors’ Tv ads.

  14. Is it 2005 again?

  15. At a first glance it looks that it will not address the supposed issue about the front rows being occupied by the same cars over and over. That said, if we have the same pre-2015 qualifying format but with more cars on track, I don’t mind.

  16. The quotes from earlier today were absolutely infuriating… Why won’t the just go back to last year? Why would that be more confusing than this system they’re now proposing? F1 rules in doublespeak, it makes absolutely no sense, no respect for fans, for the people they’re extorting every year. If the race promoters really are the driving force behind this, shame on them, because the fans they want to attract are the ones suffering.

  17. ColdFly F1 (@)
    3rd April 2016, 13:39

    2015 format: not broken; no fix needed!

  18. The present 2016 system and any aggregated system will mean that more time is spent watching numbers on the screen, not the cars.

    The 2015 system as you said was not broken. The part that is broken is the race.

    With its tyre degradation and management which is further compounded when trying to follow a car with a view to attempt an overtake.

  19. Qualifying should be an all-or-nothing shoot-out for pole. Aggregate qualy rewards consistency, something that goes against the essence of an F1 qualifying. So from the word go, this aggregate system is flawed. It’d also mean a lot less chance for a surprise result than previously, because it’s harder for a good team and a good driver to make mistakes in 2 different laps than just on the one and only that counts.

    It should also be remembered, that the last time we had aggregate qualy (back in 2005), it was quickly scrapped, only 6 races after being introduced.

    Keeping the elimination qualifying would mean even less action on track. We’ve all seen the flaws. I really doubt teams need more time to adjust to it. They are clever those guys, and they have the tools to simulate every single possibility.

    And after all, when you replace something that was good with something that’s shockingly bad, and universally unwanted, you’re already making a horrible and confusing change. So I don’t think why returning to the good system, the one that we know it works, has to be “an embarrasing U-turn”. If anything is the most sensible thing they can do.

    The knock-out system might not throw surprises. But please tell me how on earth aggregate qualifying would get those fast Mercedes in trouble… If they have 2 clear runs in Q3, like Rosberg did yesterday, they’d be even further ahead of the rest!!

  20. According to Autosport, a return to the 2015-style qualifying is off the cards, and it is a straight up contest between this stupid elimination qualifying and some new secret qualifying system (looks the likeliest outcome) which is HORRIBLE for the sport.

  21. Looks like the F1 governance solution for a problem that didn’t even exist is to now propose a newer solution that is just as bad or worse than the previous solution. Then to blame the teams, the drivers, the media, the fans and everybody else for not accepting each ridiculous proposal. They should simply go back to the previous qualifying system that was not broken. But, they are more concerned with not looking like they were wrong now. Too late for that. Stop the madness. Please.

    I worked for a company that used similar “strategies” in their business instead of listening to the key people they employed with over 500 years of experience in the field. They are out of business now.

  22. I gave quali another shot this weekend and was just as unimpressed as last weekend and as virtually everyone else.

    If F1 does anything but revert back to the system they used last year, I will join those who are no longer bothering with Saturday.

  23. Formula is doing a very good job at driving away its fanbase.

  24. This is not even a debate, there was no problem in qualifying(2015), don’t fix what ain’t broke.

  25. Can’t we just have a one hour session with elimination every 120 seconds starting from 16 minutes.

    1. And add to that a special Q tyre that is rock hard but gives ultra soft levels of performance.

      1. Not a bad suggestion, how would you combat a quiet track for the start of the 16 mins?

        1. @badger Ice cream for every driver that puts a lap in. No, I think the rear/midfield teams would go out right away as they are most likely to be in the danger zone at the beginning of the elimination process. They can then do two laps. This means the top also has to come out because you can’t risk being eliminated because you’re too cocky to set a laptime in time.

          So first 20 mins is all setting a lap and the Manors being eliminated, second 20 mins will see the midfield scrap for every single position they can gain untill the last 20 min where the top 8/10 will fight for pole.

          1. The more I think about this the more I like it. You’re going to have the mercs going out and blitzing a lap early so they have less running, but with that many cars on track at once the track evolution will be huge. The amount of rubber being put down will force the mercs out again as the times will be tumbling.

            I also think they need to get rid of a practice session or even two. The most exciting races seem to follow when the teams have done limited running dus to Friday being a washout, not that it has anything to do with this subject though. :)

  26. I’ve almost finished my degree and have wanted to work in F1 for years. All these ridiculous, idiotic decisions by Ecclestone and the FIA are seriously making me consider working in another industry. Qualifying was fine, the cars don’t need more speed they need to allow drivers to race wheel to wheel, the prize money needs to be distributed fairly, the governance needs to be changed and they need to stop shutting out fans by moving to Pay TV and blocking user uploaded content.

  27. Mustavo Gaia
    3rd April 2016, 14:04

    The new format is excellent.
    Now you can enjoy your saturday afternoon without fearing missing something relevant on qualifying.
    “F1: the pinapple of motorsport”

  28. This is beyond ridiculous

  29. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    3rd April 2016, 14:06

    I’m sure there are versions of qualifying that can be improved and done differently but they will take time to sort out.

    For now, go back to the 2015 style format. It worked, there was nothing wrong with it and it was enjoyable to watch – everything the current concept is not.

    The fact this is even still a discussion is ridiculous.

    1. I agree. The 2015 format should be used for the rest of this season and if someone comes up with a better system, it should be tested in GP2 or GP3 before even thinking about introducing it to F1 in 2017.

  30. This a sad and completely unnecessary battle. There is nothing wrong about trying out something new even if the existing format seems fine but if you refuse to go back no matter how wrong you have been, then the consequences can be disastrous.

    I was ready to give the elimination qualifying a chance but I do not think F1 can afford more experiments right now and I will not support any new format until someone proves that it is going to be better than the old one. Ecclestone’s fourth-grade level arguments do not count as proof.

    It is also kind of funny how a sport that is supposed to be macho is now acting like a drama queen while “less manly” sports like figure skating or diving have clear rules and no one tries to punish the strongest competitors there.

  31. FlyingLobster27
    3rd April 2016, 14:11

    What’s next? Aggregate + elimination? Avril Lavigne’s Complicated must be a fandom favourite right now. I suggest Avril-rolling the FIA until a sensible QP format is signed in for at least five years. Simplicity and stability: it works, why would you go and make things so complicated?

  32. All the teams should immediately announce an open revolt against FOM and FIA. They should refuse to go to China and seek immediate protection of their rights by the EU commission

    This has to stop right here right now. Or F1 will be dead, dead, dead

  33. Are they just trying to save face by not moving back to the 2015 system?

    The 2015 system of qualifying was one of the areas in Formula 1 that worked well. Rather than focusing on fixing things that are broken they turn there attentions to an area that really didn’t need changing. Now its getting spun around by the media, team bosses and Bernie which again isn’t doing F1s image any good.

    On the whole I’m not against mixing up the rules every now and again, on the basis that they would listen to the fans and do right by them in the long run. With the aggregated qualifying if they said we want to try this out for 4 races, get feedback from the fans and make a decision with the possibility of going back to the 2015 qualifying, I would be happy. However with the current management structure I don’t think the 2015 qualifying system is even an option, they just seem hell bent in trying to artificially generate entertainment, entertainment that fans repeatedly vote against and speak out against.

  34. I really can’t stop thinking of how great a diversion tactic this is from Bernie Ecclestone. It’s working out fantastically for him.

    Nobody has talked about, or written about, the problems in F1’s decision-making process and structure for several weeks now. The same goes to every other serious problem in F1 – the distribution of prize money, how to help make smaller teams more competitive and help them survive, etc.

    Let’s remember that Ecclestone started the season saying that F1 is “broken”, just before the pre-season tests took place. From then on, I think his intention his clear: create an even bigger flurry of bad news around Formula 1 to devalue it, so that he can then buy it at a lower price. Is he doing that? I don’t know, but it certainly seems like it.

    We have had our own Donald Trump for years in F1 and he is getting more reckless every year. It’s time the teams and the FIA act and make him go. It’s time the FIA stops being a mere observer, controlled by people who clearly know less than Jon Snow.

  35. Why oh why will the powers that be (Ecclestone & Todt) not listen to the teams, the drivers and the fans. Qualifying was not broken but those two dummies sure screwed it.

  36. People must think F1Fanatic members are stupid ;)

  37. What is happening?
    I mean, they tried something, it failed spectacularly, why don’t we just come back to what we had in 2015 and forget that this ever happened? The fact that the 2015 format is not an option for the teams is just ridiculous.
    I’m so mad at Todt and Ecclestone right now. I get that they are trying to spice things up, but do they really think that introducing new whacky rules mid season on top of the Q1/Q2/Q3 is going to help?

    I remember that I wanted to see the elimination quali in action because, even though it didn’t look too promising, I thought that they put some effort into the idea and there was more than meets the eye. Now I completely lost faith in them. They are proposing random things hoping that one will be decent enough. This is not how you run a sport. Just go back to the 2015 system. The fans want that, the drivers want that, the teams want that.

  38. Some of you may have noticed there was an error with the poll display for a few minutes. This has now been fixed.

  39. Just go back to the previous qualifying, then send todt to the game theory society Congress in July (, and maybe, he can come back with a more sophisticated view of a game model and would better qualified to speak on the subject.

  40. The fans have spoken. The drivers have spoken. The teams have spoken. The Journalists have spoken.

    The fans know what we want. And we are telling the FIA what that is all over the internet.

    They make all this noise about putting on the show. For the fans presumably. But when what they decide isn’t what we are telling them we want. They start up the excuses.

    Not everyone hates it, but a vast majority do. And F1 fans very rarely agree on anything. Fix this F1. Fix it now.

  41. The problems with F1 are not on Saturday, they’re on Sunday. This whole qualifying debacle is a distraction from the real issues the sport has. They wasted a meeting today which should have decided to go back to the 2015 format and then discussed how to get more people watching on a Sunday. F1 has become Farce One.

  42. Aggregate qualifying?! Let’s combine the two worst ever qualifying systems!

    Bring back 2015 qualifying without any stupid tyre rules. Give the Q3ers an extra set of the softest tyres, stop rewarding mediocrity and let everyone start on the tyres they want. Look how happy Grosjean was to qualify 9th – that’s just wrong.

  43. 1h, 4 sets of tyres.
    You have to use your 1st set in the first 15min, 2nd between 15th and 30th minute, etc… (to avoid an empty track at the beginning of the session like we had in the 90’s).

    The simplier, the better.

    But the 2015 system was ok.

    1. @bebilou That was actually suggested back in 2002 when they were looking at changing the 1hr format but it was pointed out that everyone would just wait until the final 5 minutes of each 15 minute segment before going out & doing the 1 run they would get in that 15 minute period.

  44. This has to stop – the FIA seems hell bent on tinkering with it and I really suspect that there was very little truth in Jean Todt’s “the promoters requested it”.

    The Teams now need to take control – if it is not reverted back to the 2015 for China, qualifying needs to be “boycotted” either by:-
    Not Participating at all OR
    Each car completing a slow lap OR
    Each car completing 1 fast lap and then parking in the garage for the remainder of the session
    I actually thought that they were going to do the last option yesterday – they so very nearly did in Q2 but Hulkenburg went out and ruined what I though would have been a real kick in the head to the FIA and Bernie and given them exactly what they didn’t want – no action on track.

    1. I thought that too until the Williams went out. Teams need to agree to do one lap each and publicly kill it.

  45. Have the practice on the Saturday & have the qualifying on the Sunday morning, have one thirty minute session where each car must do at least ten laps and these can be done on any tires available, the bottom half are then eliminated, starting on the grid in the order of fastest time, these teams can also start the race on whatever tires they want to from what tires are available.

    Then there is a fifteen minute break where the cars go into the pits, the second session the times are set to zero again and the session last fifteen minutes, each car must do at least six laps and they must use the tires that they will start the race on later that day, the fastest starts on pole and so on.

    This could be done on a Saturday though to allow time and space for the support races etc and have the practice on the Friday as normal.

  46. The aggregate system needs unanimous agreement, but it’s not going to get it, because teams who already decided to bring fewer of the softest compound tyres to the next rounds will vote against it. Which means we will be stuck with elimination qualifying at least until China, when another attempt is made to fix the situation. Already looking forward to that.

  47. In the face of nearly universal and extremely vocal opposition from every camp, Ecclestone and Todt persist in this folly. Their arrogance is mind blowing.

  48. Could they not as least wait until F1 is entirely behind paywalls to start experimenting with qualifying formats, at least then no one will have the misery of having to watch it.

  49. Do I really fancy the big boys making significant mistakes on their hot-laps? Not really. That’s the only real way a system like this could mix the grid up.

    It’s important to point out that the main reason this is happening is because the manufacturers refuse to budge on the engines. If the engines were more “paritable,” we wouldn’t be having these issues.

    Though convoluted, I would suggest taking the average of “reverse W/C order” and “qualifying position,” and using that figure (usually a decimal) from lowest>highest to establish the grid.

    Guarantees a mixed grid. Guarantees the Merc’s Ferrari’s start mid-grid, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th.

    As an example, VET would be between ROS and HAM under this system in the midfield if it were in place today.

    Convoluted as I say. But Bernie get’s his mixed grid, and the fans get the fastest wins in qualifying.

    Award world championship points for qualifying under the old scoring system of 10, 6, 4, 3, 2, 1.

  50. After Australia, I didn’t even bother watching qualifying yesterday on TV, despite the fact that I had nothing else to do at the time. Instead I just came here to find out the result after the session had finished. I don’t think I intend on tuning in for quali again until they go back to last years rules. It’s just not worth my time anymore.

  51. thatscienceguy
    3rd April 2016, 15:35

    I can only assume the conversation between Bernie and Jean goes something like:
    “Hey, I know how to attract the casual fan – let’s introduce ever increasingly complex rules.”
    “That’s genius! I see no flaws”

  52. NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!!!!!! GO BACK TO THE 2010-2015 FORMAT!!! What was wrong with it????? F1 is the worst managed motorsport right now. I’ve had enough!

  53. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
    3rd April 2016, 15:38

    We need one lap qualifying

    1. @peppermint-lemon F1 tried that from 2003-2005 & it was universally unpopular because it was kinda dull to watch so little track action.

  54. Following the old adage of “accentuate the positive”, why not use the 90 second clock to promote the fastest, not eliminate the slowest. So once the clock is ticking the fastest in Q1 is promoted to Q3 and comes off the track. Q2 is the same, except those already promoted to Q3 don’t run.
    Q3 is then done something akin to the old way.

  55. John Rymie (@)
    3rd April 2016, 15:55

    I think we all agree that enough is enough. What was an annoyance and somewhat comical, is now a complete farce.

    Given that the stated aim is to mix up the grid (read: handicap Mercedes), I have to say that Mercedes is playing along fairly nice knowing they are being targeted. I think it’s time that they say they’re done playing nice and start flexing their muscle. They’ll be sticking up for themselves and by proxy the fans.

    At this point I want someone to stick it to Bernie and Jean, and would be perfectly willing to see a qualifying farce if it meant someone standing their ground against those two.

    Everyone (including Todt and Eccelstone) says they are doing this for the fans but so far I haven’t seen that. The teams have a window of power right now and it’s time to use it….

  56. Thank God for Moto GP !

  57. How about retain the new qualifying format only for Q1 and Q2 and drop it for Q3? This will definitely draw flak from the lower midfield teams. But this also gives an opportunity for lady luck to shine on lower order teams. Besides it gives an opportunity to do 5-6 times laps before the elimination begins. So a driver who doesn’t set his personal best within this timeframe isn’t going to do better anyway. But the same isn’t true for Q3.

  58. Well 85% of the fans…

    Current system is for making starting grid more unpredictable? It seems to provide more predictable grid than 2015 Q.

    So old system was better for that. And likewise any system that counts more laps… Would again average out epic efforts of individual suprising laps. Again. Providing less variety.

    So given stated goals… Lol lame.

    If they want to see more cars running simply do 3 20 minute sessions send 1 car each 50 seconds on track for 1 timed lap… And once done take 2 best laps and scrap worse one.
    Use reverse grid of last race for Q1, then leave fastest of Q1 to go last in Q2, likewise fastest Q2 last in Q3.

    That way 1 car will be on track at all times and all teams get some TV times and we get awesome onboards..

    Alternative to get more running, do 4 sessions more tightly packed..

  59. I have not yet decided whether I’ll spend a couple hundred dollars to attend the Canadian GP this year, but I know for sure I will not spend a dime to attend if qualifying is not reverted to 2015 rules.
    Maybe everyone who has already purchased tickets for any upcoming race should call their promoter and inquire about a refund? If it is true that it is the track promoters that were asking for change, simple inquires about refunds might scare them enough to change their minds.

  60. The problem with the current system is that it reduces running times for the weaker/slower teams.
    They should do 3 qualifying sessions and add all 3 times, together to see who gets pole.
    More on track time. +15secs (plus fastest lap time) for not running or another +5-10secs if its raining.

    More on track time for all teams would be great.

    Also, bring it all back to free to air TV please!!!

    Dying without my dose of live F1!!!

  61. People who pay to watch the qualifying, billed as 1 hour in the programme, deserve more than the 28 minutes they were given. (For the rest of the session there was no-one on a timed lap.)

    The new system was projected to mix the grid up, giving more overtaking by getting some of the faster cars to start further back. In practice it seems that only the slower teams were mixed up a bit – the front of the grid was unaffected. (The 2016 clutch rules have done more to mix up the frontrunners than the qualifying changes!)

    If we must have elimination qualifying, allow cars to complete any lap they have started when the 90 seconds is up, and start the elimination 90 or 180 seconds later to eliminate the last 2 or 3 cars when the session finishes.

    Whatever the plan, run some simulations with the teams’ strategists to see how entertaining it will be before committing to it. Also do not commit to more than 1 or 2 races with the new system, with a promise to revert to the 2015 format unless the new format meets the success criteria in those races.

  62. Apex Assassin
    4th April 2016, 6:14

    Love how this poll literally represents the larger populations of fans based on all the social media comments and reporting and polls i’ve seen elsewhere. Hate how this too will be ignored.

    I loathe the Pirelli era. I forbid my friends and family from buying Pirelli. I’m outspoken and critical of them at every turn. If the media wasn’t saturated with all the qualifying nonsense and if the sport itself wasn’t bogged down by it, I’d be leading the chorus singing the praises of the three tyre choice decision and what it’s done for on track action! FIA and FOM is strangling the golden goose with it’s solutions to a problem that NEVER EXISTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  63. Should they use this new format? Let me give it the longest, hardest think that’s worthy of.

    *half a second passes*


  64. So the promoters want better action on a Saturday and Bernie has decided that the best way to spruce up the racing is to get quicker cars racing through the field by dropping them down the grid, otherwise the fastest cars start and finish at the front which looks bad on TV.
    For a man steeped in showbusiness I don’t know why Bernie isn’t going all the way in this, quali would be much more interesting if it were decided by fan vote during a reality TV show following the drivers. The TV networks would love it, the old circuit owners don’t pay enough to get a voice and for the regimes paying to look legit in front of a world audience what could look better than Lewis walking his dog in their chosen backdrop and Seb visiting the local palace?
    It’s either a show or it’s sport, qualifying is there to ensure that cars start alongside similarly performing cars. The last format acted as an equaliser by putting pressure on the teams and drivers to get their best laps into short windows, those who didn’t get a lap in, crashed or made mistakes on both runs in the dry did qualify out of position. The new system is by all accounts poorly thought out, it would work in the wet or with racy tyres but the timings just don’t work for single lap runs with slow refuelling. Forcing drivers to make two runs and aggregating times won’t save elimination qualifying either, all it will bring is confusion around times and the likeliness that we’ll know the final positions before the second run is finished or even started with the focus for the drivers on not making mistakes rather than flat out pace.

  65. I don’t really get why they limit the number of sets of tyres available for qualifying, other than limiting costs.

    Wouldn’t it be more exciting if every team had unlimited access to tyres for quali?

    At this point I’m finding the whole thing pretty entertaining. I would be happy with a different quali format for every race, each more complicated than the last! They have achieved this for the first 3 races of the season so why not carry on?

  66. If people voiced their disapproval to F1 directly via email address on the website that’s a better means of voicing displeasure directly to the morons that run F1. Remind them that F1 is nothing if nobody watches it.

    Its great having this forum, but directing it to means they’re more likely to read it

    Another option is to simply not watch qualy at all. Boycott it. If viewer numbers drop enough then they’ll have to look at it again.

    Whether they care enough about the fans though is another matter.

    My opinion is that qualy was fine the way it was in 2015 and with Ferrari coming back at Mercedes this year if they’d left it all alone we’d have had a better season. Kimi and Vettel have mixed it with both Mercedes in both races already – although Mercs have won both, its been mainly down to Ferrari’s poor judgement (in Oz for Vettel) and bad luck (in Oz for Kimi and Bahrain for Vettel) but Kimi’s pace showed that Ferrari are close. They’ll win races this year and if they can get a bit of luck we’ll have a good season.

  67. Why not just stop complaining?

    In Bahrain Q1 was very good, exactly as intended. Cars on track all the time and the bottom end fighting for position.

    Q2 should have been the same, but it was spoiled by the teams. Only Hulkenberg went for a 2nd run, which meant only P8 (Grosjean) was under threat off elimination. He decided not to defend, as the Toro Rossos decided not to attack. They did that under the assumption that they’re saving a set of tyres, but are they? Because they didn’t run, no else had to run either. If they all had run, then all others (maybe except Merc and Ferrari) would have to run also. Losing 1 position might not be so bad, losing 5 or 6 positions is unacceptable. Why blame the rules if you can blame the players??

    Q3 was more or less the same as under last years rules.

    As I said after Australia, the timing for 2nd run in any session is a bit critical. So I proposed to:
    1. Shorten elimination intervals to 60 seconds (=more time before 1st elim.);
    2. Ban refueling during the session (=shorter pitstops and ever improving lap times);
    3. Return the last 2 sets of tyres after qualy instead of after practice 3 (2 more sets available for qualy)
    That way the format will work and we don’t have to consider returning to the rather bland 2015 format.

    1. Not exactly true.

      In Bahrain Q1 cars were only setting times laps for 9m51s of the 16m session – that was only 62% of the session.

      In Q2 cars were on hot laps for 9m24 of the 15m session – only 63% of the session. Teams DID need to save tyres because the best race strategy was 3-stop so 4 sets (at least) were needed.

      IN Q3 cars were only racing for 9m3s – 65% of the session. This is still a lot less than it was when cars were allowed to complete their last lap so perhaps that would be worth simulating along with whatever ideas FOM and the FIA have proposed.

      1. So you’re saying that drivers do their laps simultaniously this year as in 2015 the first run especially was a bit more spread out? Well, I guess you’re right on that one. Then again in 2016 the first run is actually interesting, while in 2015 there were cars running around for 15 minutes, doing mostly irrelevant laps and then the whole thing was decided in a time period of about 1 minute around the chequered flag.

        I think you get me wrong, though. I didn’t say that 2016 qualy is very good right now, but it’s not that much worse than last year either. I said it will work very well if:
        -you make for possible for everyone to get a 2nd run in;
        -make it attractive to the teams to do more laps.

        1. You’re right. I am also convinced that one way to achieve your last two objectives would be to allow cars to finish any lap they have started because more teams would start another lap if they knew it would count. Spectators would get more action, especially fans of the teams struggling to get into Q2. The down side for fans would be that following the action from trackside would be almost impossible without access to the timing screens. (But Bernie only cares about pay TV audiences where his money comes from.)

  68. If only to get away from elimination-qualifying, F1 should try aggregate qualifying.

    It’s not exactly the same as the “old” aggregate qualifying, and it’s shifting the “possibility for a mistake” element from the teams to the drivers, which is a good thing.

    I still stand by the “old” 4x sets of QUALIFYING ONLY tyres and a 1 hour session though, it was simple, it was effective, the drivers enjoyed it, it worked!

    Maybe the only thing you have to do is reduce the session to somewhere around 40mins as the track used to be pretty empty at the start.

    4x sets of tyres, 22 drivers, 4 laps each, 88 hot-laps of qualifying, who could possibly complain about that for 40mins of entertainment on a Saturday?

    Start the top 5 on a set of tyres used from quali, this will drop them down into the pack early on, and we have Bernie’s mixed-up running order. The clutch rules have also worked nicely in this regard too.

    Motorsport is at it’s best when it’s kept simple.

  69. I’m a bit confused. I thought F1 was meant to be a sporting competition, including speed, coordination, spacial awareness, problem solving and to a certain extent endurance. I watch f1 to see who is the best driver, which is the best team and which is the fastest car, all of this in a high stress setting where everyone is pushing and everything is on the edge. If it is a sporting competition then surely there is no need to ‘mix up the grid’, allow teams more freedom, not less, with parameters set for safety and sporting parity only, ie not just for the show. Give teams fast, long lasting tyres for qualifying and allow them to do as many runs as they want. I like the previous knock out system as it offers opportunity to improve within each session but clears the track of slower cars over time allowing times to fall rising to a feverish anticipation at the end will the last car on track pip pole! While I agree mixed up grids are interesting, it is only when it happens due to weather, mistakes, or bad luck that it is really interesting. It is unsporting if the faster cars are penalised for being fast, and it is unsporting if slower teams are not allowed to develope their cars to catch up.

  70. The new system is definitely worse than the 2015 version, and I can only see a series of fixes at best getting something as good as 2015, with a lot more rules. So why bother!
    I usually watch all the qualifying live, but for Bahrain I just recorded it so I would not have to sit and watch the clock count down at the end of the session, and endless pitlane walks for the drivers.

  71. I still think think the fundamental flaw in this whole more-action-for-the-fans discussion is to rely on random and unexpected events to get any action, as well as on artificial devices (like DRS). This is nonsense. If any kind (motor)sport cannot bring excitement to the fans by means of its pure essence, what’s the point of following it?

    Stop the pathetic new, complex rules and formats. Let’s just go back to basics. How can it be so difficult?

  72. I think they should one shot q3 with 8 cars as the track wont elvove to much with 8, with the fastest from q2 qoing last, this way they won’t try and deliberately spin off to change order, as they have the possibility of been knock out in q2, the pressure the last cars to much unexpected mistakes ……

Comments are closed.