The 2020 F1 season will not feature a fourth stage during qualifying sessions as plans to revise the Saturday format failed to find support.
However the 2020 Formula 1 Sporting Regulations, published today by the FIA, reveal the existing three-stage qualifying session is to be retained.
RaceFans understands team principals were largely ambivalent to the plan, but were reluctant to support changing a system which they believe is working well.
F1 teams were asked by the sport’s rulemakers to simulate the proposed change, and discovered it could put midfield teams at a disadvantage, as they would be likely to exhaust their supply of soft tyres in order to reach Q4. Supplying additional tyres would increase costs by an estimated $1 million, at a time when the sport is looking for ways to save money.
As previously revealed by RaceFans, F1’s commercial rights holder Liberty Media was in favour of the plan to introduce Q4 as the extra qualifying stage would permit at least one extra advertising break, making the session more valuable for broadcasters.
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