Full elimination qualifying gets green light for Melbourne

ยฉ XPB 

A new elimination-style F1 qualifying format has been approved by the World Motor Sport Council [WMSC] for introduction in Australia.

The plan was first announced following a meeting of the F1 Commission in Geneva last week, with drivers set to be knocked out at 90-second intervals in each of the three qualifying sessions. However, Bernie Ecclestone then raised concerns that new software required for the format would not be ready until the Spanish Grand Prix.

Team managers met earlier this week and suggested a compromise format which would see knockout periods during the first two parts of qualifying before using the old style in a Q3 session which would feature eight cars.

However, the WMSC has now approved the original format, with the aim of introducing it from the first race of the season in Australia in two weeks.

Theย new elimination format will workย as follows:

Q1

  • 16 minutes
  • After 7 minutes, slowest driver eliminated
  • Slowest driver eliminated every 1 minute 30 seconds thereafter until the chequered flag
  • 7 drivers eliminated, 15 progress to Q2

Q2

  • 15 minutes
  • After 6 minutes, slowest driver eliminated
  • Slowest driver eliminated every 1 minute 30 seconds thereafter until the chequered flag
  • 7 drivers eliminated, 8 progress to Q3

Q3

  • 14 minutes
  • After 5 minutes, slowest driver eliminated
    Slowest driver eliminated every 1 minute 30 seconds thereafter until the chequered flag
  • 2 drivers left in final 1 minute 30 seconds

The final elimination in each session occurs at the chequered flag โ€“ not when time is up.

A number of drivers voiced concerns regarding the new qualifying format when meeting with FIA race director Charlie Whiting earlier this week, while Fernando Alonso slammed the poor handling of the situation on Thursday evening.

A full announcement regarding the decisions made by the WMSC is expected later on Friday.

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