Teams leaning in favour of new qualifying format

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In the round-up: Teams may approve the latest change to F1’s qualifying format.

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There were plenty of changes of position in Bahrain, but was it good quality racing?

My issue with the races so far this year (but especially Bahrain) is that with the amount of tyres and strategies going on, you have lots of action and overtaking but is it really good fighting? Are we seeing people truly battling for position and when do we know that they are?

It’s hard to track who has which tyres left because you don’t know what they selected unless you have a chart in front of you. It’s hard to track who is racing with who at the end of the race to an extent (I’m not talking about the sharp end as much as the midfield) and most of the overtakes and action are people on older/worse tyres being overtaken by fresh tyres out of the pits which is practically a given.

I appreciate that there was a lot of action during the Bahrain race but it lacked… tension. I enjoyed Grosjean’s drive, but you used to be able to see the strategies playing out to a bigger picture and often at the first stop you knew it was a build-up to ‘OK after the third stop these two are going to be close to each other, who will be in front?’ and that’s kind of missing now. You are just sat there watching people passing each other until the last stop then you think so who is on what tyre?

Not yet convinced.

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101 comments on “Teams leaning in favour of new qualifying format”

  1. LOL! Haha! I love you Claire, but come on. A well thought idea?!?

    Thy just came up with it because they are too stubborn to change it to something we know that works. A well thought idea would have prevented this happening, they’d have focused on the real problems, and not on something that wasn’t broken.

    1. knoxploration
      6th April 2016, 4:06

      Headline: “Teams signal tentative approval for new F1 qualifying format”
      Translation: “Teams give up and decide to kowtow to Bernie by going against the fans (and their own) wishes, because their heads are too far up their own asses to come together for the common good and do otherwise, just once.”

      It’s kind of sad really.

      1. Not only is sad, but it’s insane.

        They always go on and on about making a show for the fans. Well, we’ve told them what we want. Go back.
        Do they do so? No, they push on with more and more ridiculous ideas which we can already see won’t work. Why? F1’s politics cause it to make insane decisions.

      2. It’s a pretty misleading headline as they do all want to go back to 2015, but Tobt and Ecclestone are being stubborn and doing their damnedest to make sure that option’s not on the table, almost as if they think this might save face somehow.

        Instead, the situation they’re in is almost like a school yard situation where 1 kid runs up to another, asks them very loudly if they’d rather eat cat poo or dog poo or else they’d die (and they’re not allowed to either say neither or make up another option) and keep pestering them until they answer.

        It’s not clever at all, but that’s ultimately what Tobt and Ecclestone are doing because they’re the ones who are ultimately creating the options for the teams to vote on.

    2. indeed @fer-no65! I think the reason they are not talking it down completely is for strategic reasons – they don’t want to be seen to be overly negative and combatitive. But as soon as their strategists confirm the negatives and complications of this system they can still change their mind later this week. And it needs only one team not wanting to go along with this craziness to stop a change to another abomination.

    3. I find Claire Williams’ and the Williams’ team stand on the entire qualifying debacle rather displeasing. I was disappointed when I read somewhere, before the start of the season, where Claire called to question fans reaction against the now much derided new Q format which they had supported. In fact Autosport ran the story with the headline: Give new Formula 1 qualifying format a chance – Claire Williams. From what I could understand, she saw fans displeasure with the tampering of a process that was superb, as a part of the general ‘negative commentary’ associated with the sport. I was disappointed cos I thought she would have known better.

      To hear her speak in support or even stomach yet again, such contemptible nonsense as the latest circus they are considering is disappointing to say the least.

    4. Yep stubborn and also a huge ego cause they don’t even like to admit that they made a mistake in the first place.

  2. Agregate qualy, Yes?
    Replace the qualy concept that’s so horrid it has to go after a couple of races with the last concept that was so horrid it had to go after a couple of races. Brilliant!
    Also, what year is it?

    1. You know, I hate elimination, but at least it is the same fundamental concept of fastest lap gets pole. Sure there was less action, but the drivers still drove as fast as possible for a few laps, even if it was before the session ended.

      Aggregates will produce more managed laps. Especially with these lousy tires.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        6th April 2016, 6:16

        With 2-lap quali we’ll soon see drivers ‘managing their tyres’ on Saturday!

        1. That’s the thing all these changes that have been rushed through have not taken into account the tyre allocations are designed for the old format. 2 runs on Supersoft in Q1 through to Q3 requires 6 sets of SS or a blinder on S then a steady run on SS and hope the aggregate takes you through. We have a 56 or so lap aggregate on Sundays, it’s called a race. Due to the tyre allocation which will not change they should scrap this before they start or will they make them run 2 consecutive laps? Does WEC run aggregate quali though?

  3. Michael Brown
    6th April 2016, 0:41

    @Martin Brundle: F1 is dependent on technology, so rule changes have to be made to reflect that. That said, leave qualifying alone. I mean, go back to 2015 and then leave it alone.

    1. Indeed. Even though I too think F1 rules need more stability I reckon football is not a benchmark

  4. “They’re starting to get more and more interested in the anti-competitive way that we’ve got”
    “Conversations have taken place and they will do what is the right thing to do.”

    Bernie Ecclestone has just admitted that it is anti-competitive? He has just said they will do the right thing? What has happened, he’s actually said a thing that we can agree with!

    1. @strontium

      nd they will do what is the right thing to do.

      Don’t be too optimistic yet.

    2. Neil (@neilosjames)
      6th April 2016, 2:54

      It’s in his interest to get rid of the current decision-making format, so he’ll be making sure he slips words like ‘anti-competitive’, ‘cartel’ or anything else the EU might dislike into his interviews whenever he’s asked about it over the next few months.

      Personally I hate the current model as much as the next guy, but if the alternative is more power and money for Bernie/CVC, I think I’m willing to put up with the Strategy Group and unfair bonus payments…

      1. Yeah, I’ve said this before, never trust Bernie. Any time he sounds like he’s doing or saying something selfless or good for us. Just, step back and try to work out how it will benefit him. Because you can always find it.

      2. ColdFly F1 (@)
        6th April 2016, 7:54

        @neilosjames, that sounds like the most likely explanation for Bernie’s comments.

        But I remain an optimist. If the EU finds the F1 business to be anti-competitive or cartel-like, then the only thing they can do (again) is force F1 to split the regulatory parts (FIA) from any commercial (FOM) or competitor (teams) parts.
        – all sporting and technical regulations only through FIA (no more Ferrari veto, etc.);
        – no commercial ties between FIA and FOM and/or teams other than FIA being paid expenses independent of any commercial outcome.
        – And FOM in its monopolistic set-up required to offer the same deal to all teams (shady one: FOM could create a multiple WCC bonus, and ’50+ year in the sport’ bonus, and offer other ‘heritage’ payments).

  5. “Ecclestone confirms EU talks on F1 structure”

    I’m not sure that Bernie has the credibility anymore

  6. I like the new qualifying system. I know I’m in the tiny minority, but I also know the reasons why it’s the tiny minority.
    I sympathize with the notion of “don’t fix what’s not broken”, so I guess that’s fair. I also think I’ll go back to not watching qualifying (anymore) if they go back to the 2015 system. It’s a nice system, but I’m just not interested in it enough. I prefer the new system, it’s way more engaging and interesting.

    1. Is that you Jean?

    2. Yeah every session ending with 3 minutes left is a lot more ‘interesting’ than what we had last year.

      Go back to bed Todt …

      1. Yes it is. Its better that the session ends with 3min to go rather than is starts with 3min to go like the 2015 format. No matter how you look at it its more action for a longer time on the track with the elimination style. With that said the teams could use a couple of extra sets of tyres so they can do some runs in q2 and q3 aswell.

    3. Do you frequent empty circuits because of how “engaging” they can be?

      Call me old fashioned, but I like my motor racing to involve some cars being in fair competition on the track, not packing away because they don’t have enough time or there’s no point venturing out.

  7. I wonder if we could steal some Bernie’s money for Emmo..?

    1. Or maybe Rosberg could send him a few ‘tax-free’ dollars?

      1. :-) @johanness. Rosberg himself (or his lawyer rather) confirmed that apparently all his income is regularly taxed in Monaco
        See more here ( in German, and you have to sign up to Süddeutsche Zeitung for at least a day or a free 14 day trial to read all of it), although it does not get much deeper (for now) than suggesting that liability and sponsorship contracts might be the reasons given for this complicated and certainly not transparant structure!

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          6th April 2016, 8:14

          @bascb, I haven’t read the specifics of Rosberg’s case, and this is not an economic/fiscal forum. But most sponsorship deals uncovered during the Panama Papers are very shady and all but certain tax cheating.
          The contracts are being initially recorded for a low value (the team/sports-person pays taxes on this lower amount) and then on-sold for multiples of that value through various tax-haven entities. They finally end up at a much higher value in the sponsoring company’s accounts as a tax deductible expense. All but in the rarest of cases either the sponsoring company and/or the sponsored team/individual (or their manager) are the main beneficiary of these illegal tax-free dollars.

          1. Indeed @coldfly.

            In this case, when Monaco has as low taxes as it has, its well possible that the main benefactor of such a construction is indeed Mercedes (being able to write a tax deductable liability into the books?) rather than Rosberg. But regardless, I cannot really see much reason to hide the whole thing apart from wanting to hide some of the money or obscuring some of the details and people involved.

            I can imagine that most contracts with drivers are made in a similar way nowadays (and with pay drivers even more complicated), pretty much showing another aspect of the financial mess the world is in.

        2. Thanks for the link @bascb, and the short summary; I have to agree with you nd @coldfly that his explanation doesn’t actually say all that much. I do think most drivers are probably hired via a firm that manages their interests (and could be the entity dealing with personal sponsors etc. too, as well as insurance); but even if I can accept that for now it has to be that way (as you say @bascb, financial mess) that doesn’t explain the extra layers and why it is kept so opaque where the money ends up.

          And Rosberg saying he manages himself makes it seem rather transparant that these companies are there for no other purpose than as shells.

          Mercedes just going along with it because they trust Rosberg and because apparently Brawn already hired him like that, I can sort of understand, but on the other hand, it sounds like similar sort of excellent compliance to what the Mossack Fonesca say they do: not very thorough.

          1. @bosyber Mercedes are going along with it because they (nor Rosberg) are doing nothing wrong – this is Tax Avoidance, not Evasion – Avoidance is paying the least amount of tax in a given jurisdiction through clever legal and accounting footwork, whereas Evasion is not paying any what so ever.

            The only chance this specific instance could change is if Mercedes get drawn across the coals for engaging in it with Rosberg and they change the terms of the agreement for PR reasons. At the end of the day, they’re a public company and they’re pressured to do things like this to save money & tax on what they’re paying Nico and Lewis.

            Mossack Fonesca was one firm in a thousand who was breached – I wouldn’t be surprised if most of the well-paid drivers are handled in similar ways…

          2. I know all that @optimaximal; am still somewhat surprised someone living in Monaco, and a company that wants to look clean found the layered anonymity necessary.

  8. Joe Saward explains why the FIA is a fiasco and the only real solution for F1 over coffeee and a croissant. Good read, I recommend it highly.

    1. I think the tone of his article reflects what many of us feel. We can only sit back and watch the ridiculous situation unfold.

  9. I disagree with the CotD to an extent, I don’t usually have trouble keeping up with the strategies unless I’m watching highlights, plus the ‘what tyre is he going to put on?’ moment in the pits is pretty exciting to me.

    As far as the racing is concerned, it’s not really any different to last season when you had one driver on fresh rubber and the other on old. The unfortunate fact is the cars can’t overtake each other under normal circumstances outside of DRS zones, you need a grip differential, and with the cars getting closer together on performance this year it’s even less likely to happen naturally. Even so, there were some occasions where drivers on softer tyres got held up, and there’s your tension.

    1. Yes, I too disagree.
      Sometimes, it seems F1 fans are their own worst enemies. Comments such as that – the commenter of course having every right to express his/her opinion, is the reason why I may find some elements of truth in Jean Todt’s idiotic statement on their not making decisions based on ”social media”.

      The first two races of 2016 have proven to be the only positives F1 currently has going for it. Through all the rubbish and shenanigans that F1 leadership have ensured the sport is inundated with, many have said that the only remedy they get has arrived only on Sundays and have gone further to see, among other developments, the new tyre selection process as a fillip to such highly rated races as we have so far seen.

      But trust an F1 fan to complain that races now lack ”tension”. Really? I don’t even wanna get started on this part of his/her comment: ”you used to be able to see the strategies playing out to a bigger picture and often at the first stop you knew it was a build-up to ‘OK after the third stop these two are going to be close to each other, who will be in front?’ and that’s kind of missing now.”

      As we all are different, so will our preferences in Formula 1 also be different but the tendency to complain with the intention to perhaps bend the sport towards whatever our preferences are to the detriment of the greater majority [both races of 2016 have received over 70% approval ratings] is uncalled for and should not be encouraged. Let’s face it F1 will never be perfect, and that is why we should focus our energy on challenging the very obvious problems plaguing the sport but which the powers that be keep circling around.

    2. **Sorry if this comment appears twice. I had to change a word after the comment surprisingly got withheld.

      Yes, I too disagree.
      Sometimes, it seems F1 fans are their own worst enemies. Comments such as that – the commenter of course having every right to express his/her opinion, is the reason why I may find some elements of truth in Jean Todt’s derisive statement on their not making decisions based on ”social media”.

      The first two races of 2016 have proven to be the only positives F1 currently has going for it. Through all the rubbish and shenanigans that F1 leadership have ensured the sport is inundated with, many have said that the only remedy they get has arrived only on Sundays and have gone further to see, among other developments, the new tyre selection process as a fillip to such highly rated races as we have so far seen.

      But trust an F1 fan to complain that races now lack ”tension”. Really? I don’t even wanna get started on this part of his/her comment: ”you used to be able to see the strategies playing out to a bigger picture and often at the first stop you knew it was a build-up to ‘OK after the third stop these two are going to be close to each other, who will be in front?’ and that’s kind of missing now.”

      As we all are different, so will our preferences in Formula 1 also be different but the tendency to complain with the intention to perhaps bend the sport towards whatever our preferences are to the detriment of the greater majority [both races of 2016 have received over 70% approval ratings] is uncalled for and should not be encouraged. Let’s face it F1 will never be perfect, and that is why we should focus our energy on challenging the very obvious problems plaguing the sport but which the powers that be keep circling around.

    3. COTD sums up my feelings about F1 over the past few years pretty well actually.

      Ok we have overtaking galore, but it all seems so meaningless. Every single car is running to a predefined strategy, occassionally that might change on the fly but basically it’s a computer deciding the quickest way from A to B (which factors in tyre saving, fuel saving etc).

      Whenever two cars get close, the impetus is solely on the attacking car. Either they have the performance advantage to get within 0.75-0.5 seconds and make a pass, or they don’t have a significant performance advantage so get stuck about 1.5 seconds behind. For the defending car it’s either a case of doing nothing if a car is stuck 1.5 seconds behind (no pressure really) or if the car behind has a performance advantage then the computer model advises it would be quicker to just let them pass.

      What this means is:

      – after the first lap or rarely second lap of close racing, the first couple of stints consist of DRS-assisted, undefended passes by cars that are either much quicker or are on a quicker tyre as well as other cars getting stuck in 1.5-2 second no-mans land and waiting for the next pitstop.
      – the cars are so easy to drive under the limit that no driver will make an unforced error, and cars that can’t get close enough to use DRS are so far behind that they can’t pressure the driver in front into making a mistake.
      – there is no advantage to defensive driving at all, unless there is the rare scenario of having two drivers with just the right performance balance to bring the attacking driver into contention AND they are isolated enough from the rest of the field that an actual wheel-to-wheel fight won’t slow them down enough to risk them losing places later in the race (ie Bahrain 2014).
      – After the first two/three stints, most of the order has shaken out and we’re left with a spread-out field to the finish.

      It’s all very clever and strategic, but the new tyre rules are simply introducing more temporary performance inbalance. It is NOT introducing closer racing.

      I just don’t get this obsession with overtaking. We could make the goals in football twice as big and have each match end 12-10, but would that really be more entertaining?

      I get that unpredictability is good, and the races are sort of unpredictable at the moment – but it’s unpredictable in the sense I’m not a supercomputer, rather than in any sporting sense. I just find it increasingly unsatisfying.

      Make the cars more difficult to drive (not necessarily faster though), make the drivers drive flat out (no marshmellow tyres, ease the fuel restrictions), and get rid of DRS. Then we’ll see some real drama and tension.

    4. Yup guys, I also disagree with that CotD @george, @tata and @graham228221.
      Sure, part of the overtaking is different strategies playing out with the tyres.

      But for me that is exactly the kind of variability we need, the sport needs and the different teams need. Those who work well on the supersofts can try and make many stops work – we saw that from Grosjean, and he made it work by doing many passes on track, some easy DRS things but also a couple of nice battles with others. It was clear what they were going to do upfront (see tyre choices made) and it worked.

      Williams tried the opposite, but the track staying warmer than expected meant the mediums did not live up to expectation (same for Hamilton it seems). We saw Verstappen, Ricciardo and Kvyat also making their strategic choices work with some good fights on track. In Bahrain, where overtaking is quite easy, we had battles that lasted several corners. Last race, in Australia on the other hand we saw quite a few good multi lap battles playing out between different cars. Both are good, provided we have different tracks where things play out differently.

      What you describe graham has very little to do with the 2 races we saw so far this year. The red flag showed that unexpected things can mess up races (it did for Button, for the FI cars, in a way for Ferrari) and make races (it helped Grosjean get to that spot he then defended till the flag and Hamilton also got back to the front by it). And technical issues can also still affect a race.

      Sure, I am all for ditching DRS, especially on a track like Bahrain that never needed it in the first place. And yes, I do think the tyres should be better to allow drivers to push more on them. But that does not mean that the current races are too complicated to follow (just think back at some of the early DRS races’ madness for example), or that the racign is not good already.

      1. ”Sure, I am all for ditching DRS, especially on a track like Bahrain that never needed it in the first place.”

        Exactly. I am not an absolutist where DRS is concerned. I just think there are tracks where they are needed like Australia and Hungary and there are some tracks where they are not needed at all and Bahrain is one of them.

        What I find weird about the COTD and that of @graham228221 is that blame is going to overtakings and unpredictability during a race.

        1. Basically I’d just prefer 5-10 really hard fought battles a race, than 50 easy overtakes that don’t mean anything. In the aftermath of Abu Dhabi 2010, and the unspoken assumption that Alonso lost a title because overtaking was too difficult, followed by the introduction of DRS in 2011 and the sudden leap in overtakes per race, suddenly it seemed like everyone was assuming more overtakes is automatically better.

          It’s this cheapening of on-track battles along with all the gimmicks that has dampened my F1 enthusiasm.

          I’m not saying that there aren’t still great moments – both of this year’s races I’d rate as solid 7s – I’m just increasingly finding other series more entertaining. Everyone’s idea of entertainment is different of course.

          1. Hello. I agree with CotD… Funnily enough :)

            I understand other people’s view points, I really do, I also don’t think the races are bad at the moment as such… It’s just, as Graham said, a lot of it is passes without purpose.

            I like the idea of giving free choice of strategy but, for me, I feel having three different sets of tyres with everyone having different choices of each is a lot of data to be tracking with so many cars.

            I tried not to be too negative in the comment and did say I was not yet convinced not that it was terrible and should be removed, so we’ll see over the course of the year how it goes.

            On the other hand aggregate quali IS awful… Cars driving at 8 tenths for quali is not my idea of fun.

          2. One more thing. I think the solution to most of the problems is: pay the teams fairly and relax development rules then allow a free market and stop fiddling with it.

    5. I think I could more or less keep up with the action on Sunday. For sure, I did not have a complete overview of all strategies but I still enjoyed watching those strategic battles develop.

      That said, I also think that the overtakes were not particularly exciting as the competitors mostly were driving their own races and the inadequately powerful DRS only made their job easier. A lot of those passes did not really feel like battles, they rather felt inevitable.

      The race often looked like another qualifying session. It was not bad but I want something more from a Grand Prix.

    6. In other news: I suggest we keep on complaining about qualifying until they fix it (read: go back to last year’s system) before we start complaining about the races.

      We need to fix F1 step by step, one thing at a time. And if there’s one thing which absolutely needs fixing right now, it’s qualifying.

  10. To the Max !
    6th April 2016, 1:59

    Last year I was wondering what all the Red Bull engine tantrum was about, but now I get it, it was to make sure Toro Rosso would get a worse engine because they were a threat to them.

    1. TR Ferrari 2015 engine may be the least powerful, but the gap in performance between manfucturers seems to be a lot smaller. That is always good, in my opinion. I hope the gap doesn’t widen over the year.

      The ESPN writer makes a good point about how good the chassis is and how good the performance of both Max (and Carlos as well) was in Bahrain. Somehow, the TR duo was at the heart of many discussions after Australia, but there is almost no interest in their Bahrain performance at all.

      I also keep wondering what will happen if TR blow 6 engines each. How many spare 2015 engines does Ferrari have? TR can not just put the 2016 engine into the current chassis.I hope they have some contingency plans for that situation.

      1. To the Max !
        6th April 2016, 10:32

        Looking at the lap times, Verstappen was in his last stint (8 laps) on average 1.5 seconds faster as Kvyat while both were on the super softs (Kvyat only went for them a few laps earlier).

        In the beginning of the race, something similar happened with Verstappen closing the gap to Ricciardo while both were on the softs (second stint). And I can’t help the feeling Toro Rosso made a strategical mistake by going to medium tyre with the third stint (going to the softs and Verstappen would at least have been on the tail of Ricciardo with the third pit stop (the stints of both them were pretty similar in length too (Verstappen’s were a few laps less, but by having a bit longer first stint, that wasn’t a problem))).

        It sure looks like by going to the medium tyres for the third stint it cost Verstappen a lot, while he still should have had a new set of soft tyres left (if Pirelli was right before the race, he still had 2 new sets of softs available for the race).

      2. @euitdebos

        I also keep wondering what will happen if TR blow 6 engines each. How many spare 2015 engines does Ferrari have? TR can not just put the 2016 engine into the current chassis.I hope they have some contingency plans for that situation.

        Ferrari are still manufacturing parts for the engines – they’re just to an older, static specification, hence the lower cost because of the little to zero R&D cost involved. If they refused to manufacture parts, they’d be in breach of the new agreement for the manufacturer pool to supply all teams with an engine.

  11. Jack (@jackisthestig)
    6th April 2016, 3:34

    I realise I must be missing something but since Nico Rosberg has been based in Monaco all of his life, why would he need to avoid tax and get involved with this rather unsavoury offshore business?

    1. I guess we know very little about these guys. That is why I personally find it rather unfortunate that people go out of their way to castigate and denigrate F1 driver’s character for their own personal reasons. At the same time, there are those who would like us to believe that some of these people are ‘better’ than others and so we should like this person or that person more than the other. So we get articles, posts and sound bites on why they are better.
      Point is 99.99 percent of us do not know these drivers or F1 people in general so we should limit our expectations of them. They are all as fallible as each and every one of us.

      1. My eyes just rolled so hard I lost my balance.

        1. Mine too.

    2. AFAIK Monaco still has a tax rate to pay. Living in Monaco does not mean “pay no tax”.

    3. @jackisthestig No country in the world survives without taxation – it’s basically how public services are paid for etc. What varies is the level of taxation and the types of relief the local tax body offers i.e. Ireland and Luxembourg offer lower tax rates for corporations who base their EU head offices in said countries.

      Monaco is seen as a tax haven, but in reality it’s also a tiny principality run by a constitutional monarchy that chooses not to charge income tax on it’s residents. That the rich and famous choose to live there to take advantage is simply a choice. The casino businesses mean there’s a lot of heat and attention on the country to do the right thing with regards to money laundering etc.

      It’s not the same as using clever accounting to move money anonymously between countries through shell companies to avoid tax where tax is due.

  12. I like the proposed Qualification Race for 22 laps with reverse grid format, though it might sound a bit unfair for the fastest cars and drivers, it would be a great show, for sure. I would suggest a shorter Qualification Race, something of about 15 laps with no tyre restriction to incentive flat out racing.

    Here in Formula 3, for the Macau Grand Prix, we have a qualification race on Saturday, and the main race on Sunday. No reverse grid here since all cars are very close to each other, but the qualification race format is punishing for those making mistakes here: Max Verstappen, for example, was fighting for victory on the Qualification Race, crashed and had to start the main race from the back of the grid. It made for an exciting show, having him finishing 5th overall after many great overtakes and a bit of luck with the usual mayhem that happened up the field, something that’s part of the charm to this unique circuit.

    1. If you do a qualifying race with reversed grid, why would anybody bother to win that race? Or are there points involved on saturdays then aswell?

      1. I think he means, for the qualifying race, they reverse the championship order. Mercedes would start last, etc. It would be good as 20 odd laps of good racing, with the grid being relatively mixed up for an interesting race on sunday

        1. Exactly Kavin sorry for the bad structure of my post HRT.

    2. @sergio-perez @lolzerbob The day they do anything like that is the day I stop watching F1.

      Qualifying should be about car & driver pushing on the limit where we see the cars at there fastest over a weekend & the grid should be decided based off those lap times.

      Additionally as we have seen many times in GP2, A ‘slower’ driver winning a race because he happened to get reverse grid pole is looked at as a far less deserving winner than a driver who qualified on pole based on speed & went on to win the race. If you reversed an F1 grid in some way & lets say you had Verstappen qualify last & thus start on pole going on to win the race, Would that be as deserved or highly thought of as Vettel’s win for STR at Monza in 2008? I think not!

  13. Paddy Lowe saying that the 2015 Ferrari PU is the slowest has actually confirmed what I seemed to think initially. Just watching in Australia and Bahrain, the Toro Rosso were struggling to match other teams in a straight line, whereas even the Honda PU wasn’t that bad, which was evident when in the Bahrain GP, Vandoorne managed to overtake Perez into braking for Turn 1 despite the fact that Perez had DRS and they exited the last corner pretty much side by side, and the Red Bull seemed to breeze past the Williams down the straight in both races. By 2017, I expect most manufacturers to be within 30 bhp of each other, which will make F1 even more chassis based than it is, even though PUs such as the Renault and Honda will probably have much worse drivability. Oh, and this probably means that the McLaren chassis is pretty BAD.

    1. See, this is why I think we should take Mercedes assessment of the 2015 Ferrari PU being the worst of the bunch with a grain of salt.

      Paddy Lowe says it himself. “The Renault and the Honda are not so far behind the Ferrari Mercedes”. The main point of the article isn’t that the 2015 Ferrari power unit is bad, it’s that even with the current rules Renault and Honda have caught up.

      You’d think Mercedes would want everyone to believe that, right? So maybe they are telling the truth, maybe not. I have a hard time believing that McLaren had a pretty good chassis last year (shown in races like Monaco and Hungary where they had better performances than average) and now, with a better engine (which also allows to crank up the downforce) the chassis is suddenly one of the worst of the grid.

      1. Michael Brown
        6th April 2016, 15:43

        Sometimes those things happen, like McLaren’s performance in 2013 versus 2012.

        1. That’s because they started from scratch on the car design, rather than an evolution of the excellent 2012 chassis, a decision made mid- 2012 that cost Whitmarsh his job.

      2. Or last year was a mix of bad chassis and engine this year the engine is better but the chassis is still poor. The only thing great with last year’s aero was the spin put on it by McLarens world class PR machine.

        1. Last year’s chassis was good. The cornering speeds matched those of Mercedes. But when you’re down 160+ horsepower on the straights….

          1. The evidence suggests poor chassis in 2013, 2014 but in 2015 their chassis was great conveniently when the engine was hopeless, now the engine is better the chassis is bad again, I think the pattern is the chassis is lower midfield level all those years but the really bad engine last year gave the PR team something to spin.

      3. Naa, you’re right. If you noticed, McLaren were running with noticeably less downforce than their rivals throughout the weekend. Their rear wing was skinnier, and this was mentioned on the f1technical forums as well. They’re running less downforce/drag to help the PU achieve decent speeds on the straight. Bahrain has a lot of straights. The McLaren chassis isn’t the best, but it’s definitely not BAD. The Honda PU may have full deployment over a straight, and is better than last year, shown by McLarens Q2 times in Bahrain, but it’s still deploying less energy than Merc and Ferrari. And maybe Renault. So McLaren are compensating by putting on less downforce.

        1. I agree. I think the Honda is still deficient and made up for my a good chassis.

          1. I think it takes 2 to Tango, the engine is poor and so is the chassis.

  14. Is it just me who sees messages like the Alonso one above and thinks ‘somebody didnt lock their screen before putting their mobile in their pocket’

  15. I cant remember the last roundup that wasnt depressing… Its obviously not Keiths fault, but maybe we need a story at the end like a cat was saved out of a tree or something to lighten the mood :-(

    When people used to ask me what sports I’m into, my standard responce used to be ‘F1, a real sport where the drivers need 2 balls.’ I wouldnt be able to keep a straight face saying that today…

    1. Well, now they’ll need 4 balls. You know, because of aggregate qualifying.

      I’m sorry, I’ll show myself out.

    2. @brawngp On a lighter note, Nico also saved a drowning kid in Monaco ;)

  16. ColdFly F1 (@)
    6th April 2016, 6:25

    With the teams now falling in place with spine-less Todt, and the drivers not following up their written protest with some tangible action, the most likely (of all) place to resolve this situation is the EU.

  17. So the choices will be to keep the system as it is or vote for yet another hair brained idea because they absolutely refuse to go back to the 2015 format. Great.

    Time for the teams and drivers to boycott Qualy completely because that’s what the fans will do.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      6th April 2016, 11:53

      @dbradock – You’re mistaking the teams for people who care about the sport. They only care about themselves and missing qualifying means missing advertising time. It won’t happen.

      1. No point having advertising time if nobody’s watching. If the teams don’t start caring, their sponsors might join the throngs leaving.

        1. Sponsors get way more exposure from TV showing their car in the garage than when it’s on the track.
          Their logo’s on the walls, the uniforms, everywhere… scary thought.

  18. I wonder what even worse qualifying format was proposed to force the teams into accepting aggregate qualifying. Going by current FIA logic, the existing elimination format might not have been an option.

    1. @keithedin Based on what i’ve read the alternatives they have been given are to stick with some form of the elimination qualifying or go back to the 2015 system with a penalty points system that would reverse the grid in some way.

  19. Urgh. I had a feeling that the teams would do this.

  20. Perhaps the qualifying format as such is not a big deal. As long as it still properly rewards the fastest drivers and as long as the races on Sunday are OK, I can live with it even if I do not like it.

    What is more worrying is that this is obviously not about qualifying format anymore (maybe it never was). It seems that a much bigger battle is going on and the fans have become hostages in that battle. If F1 tries new ideas, it is good. If some stakeholders, however, deliberately make things worse and then refuse to go back just because it is part of their strategy, then I really have to start wondering if this is the right sport for me as a fan.

    1. Yeah @girts surely the problem that aggregated laps means 2×99% laps is too obvious to have been missed. The story might be it’ll be 1×100% + 1×101% with a mistake and a Mercedes out of position, but it won’t play out like that.

      My guess is that Todt is using it to undermine Bernie and finally persuade CVC to get rid of him. Bernie is fighting back, as he does, with a dazzling array of deflections – drivers, EU, charm, whatever.

      Must admit I find it all part of the show, though. The constant Tolkien-esque good vs evil :)

  21. Why does it have to be an aggregate of two fastest laps? Why can’t it be the average time of those two laps? At least that way the grid won’t look ridiculous. Or is the concept of an “average” deemed too complicated for the casual viewer?

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      6th April 2016, 11:24

      @dave124, I’m probably missing the point you try to make, but:
      – why ‘spend time’ dividing a number by 2 (won’t change ranking)?
      – how to show an average on TV during the lap; especially variance to others?

      1. Indeed averaging the times in the way they are proposing won’t change anything the ranking. But I would argue that the times would at least then look representative of a single lap and we won’t have a driver on pole with a lap time of 3mins+. And it wouldn’t be too hard to show what times the drivers have to achieve with some clever graphics and some basic calculations.

  22. F1 should be worried about introducing another dumb, disliked qualifying system. Whilst there are plenty of individuals – myself included – that are big enough fans of F1 (and motorsport in general) that it would take a serious, fundamental, bad change to the racing to actually stop me from watching the races, I don’t think people feel the same way about qualifying. If elimination qualifying stays in, or another system equally confusing, annoying and down right stupid replaces it, I am going to stop watching qualifying.

  23. So a multimillionaire racing driver who grew up in Monaco, a tax haven, and who is the son of a multimillionaire racing driver is trying to avoid paying tax. Shocking.

    As someone who lived in a tax fee jurisdiction for a not insignificant period of my life, I don’t find tax avoidance (technical term) abhorrent. Tax evasion should obviously be punished, but finding legal ways of saving a bit more of your earnings really doesn’t bother me.

    1. @geemac Well, if it’s allowed by the rulebook’s loopholes.. another fine UK export, similar to F1.

    2. Yeh, find a ‘legal’ way of keeping more of your earnings instead of paying back to the ones that made your earnings possible to achieve in the first place. Only a man/lady without moral can approve or do such a thing.

      1. It will go to benefit scroungers. If I was in an F1 drivers position I would hold back as much as I legally could from the proalterians. Good on them.

  24. Wow, unbelievable. Just unbelievable! Once again, WHY DO THEY NEED TO CHANGE IT! IT WASN’T BROKEN IN THE FIRST PLACE!!! BRING BACK THE 2015 FORMAT NOW!!! Does any member of the FIA or FOM ever listen to us?

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      6th April 2016, 11:33

      I understand the FIA and FOM abbreviations but cannot place the rest ;-)

    2. That’s the problem. The FIA and FOM and Bernie DO think it’s broken. Why? Because the grid doesn’t get ‘mixed up’.

  25. TR knew this, but i don’t think they had a lot of choice. Last year they had so many penalties for engine swaps and on top of that lots reliability issues in the race and also a weak engine, so everything would be a step up. They will slowly fall behind williams and maybe mclaren during the year to finish around 7th-8th in the constructors championship

  26. I know it fell apart in the end but the teams need something like FOTA to speak as one voice.

  27. Also on this day in F1: One of the best races of the modern era of F1; the 2014 edition of the Bahrain GP took place.

  28. Lesser of 2 evil’s.

  29. Justin (@vivagilles27)
    7th April 2016, 0:14

    I think the best solution to “mixing up the grid” is to look at the sport’s history. I remember the days when there were essentially no technical rules when it came to qualifying. There were special qualifying tyres that only had one, maybe two laps of life in them. Some teams even had qualifying engines that were tuned so close to the edge that they often expired before they made it back to the pits. There were essentially two different cars for Saturday and for Sunday. This quickly became prohibitively expensive and regulations were changed to eliminate qualifying engines and tyres. As time passed, backup cars were also eliminated along with open testing all in the name of cost savings. Then the powers that be decided that Parc Ferme conditions should be imposed where the cars are now essentially untouchable the instant qualifying ends, barring rain. What this means is that everyone must essentially qualify the exact car they are going to race. So why is it such a surprise that the complaint about the races has been about the predictability when you don’t have any difference between the cars in qualifying and the race? I say that Bernie and the FIA need to study their history if they want to mix up the grids again. Certainly there is no way there will be special engines allowed again, but let the teams tweak the cars in qualifying. Let them run the softest tyres, without a limit on the number of sets you can use. Tape up those brake ducts. “Turn up” the engines to their maximum output (no restriction on fuel flow?). Trim some downforce out of those wings. Let’s go as fast as the car and driver will allow. You know, what qualifying is supposed to be all about. The result, in my humble opinion, would be a slightly more mixed up grid because you would have every car and every driver on the absolute maximum which would lead to more mistakes. On top of that, as history teaches us in these conditions, there is an increased likelihood that the fastest car (and driver) on Saturday may very well not be the fastest car (and driver) on Sunday. They say that those who don’t study their history are doomed to repeat it. Well count me as doomed if it means that Formula 1 come to their senses and make qualifying all about Saturday and not mostly about preparing for Sunday.

  30. Just heard Teams now rejected the aggregate qualifying. They want to revert back to 2015 qualifying system.

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