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Formula 1 qualifying format changes get teams' approval

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Bahrain F1 test, February 2014

Formula 1 teams have approved plans to tweak the qualifying format for 2014 in a bid to spice up the spectacle of Q3.

As AUTOSPORT revealed earlier this month, F1 team managers were called to a meeting with the FIA in Bahrain last week to discuss ideas to improve qualifying.

The meeting was put together because of concerns that too many drivers were electing to sit out the final qualifying session in a bid to save tyres for the race.

The proposed revisions featured drivers starting races on their Q2 tyres rather than Q3 rubber, extra tyres being provided for Q3 only, and Q1 being reduced from 20 to 18 minutes with Q3 lengthened to 12 minutes so that drivers can all complete two runs.

Those ideas were duly debated during Friday's meeting of F1's Strategy Group and AUTOSPORT has learned that they were approved.

The matter now needs to go to a vote of the FIA's World Motor Sport Council to be ratified before being put into the regulations in time for the Australian Grand Prix.

The support of the governing body will be a formality though, with FIA president Jean Todt having told AUTOSPORT recently that he fully backed the changed.

"It's constructive to have a little review of qualifying. Some people say, 'no we cannot go out in Q3 because we don't have enough tyres,'" he said.

"We are not talking about getting involved in a revolution. By doing a little refinement, a little finetuning, we can get at something [better]."

Teams also discussed potential revisions to the engine homologation regulations, in light of Renault's problems, but these were rejected.

A push by Bernie Ecclestone to expand the controversial double points rule for the final three races of the season, rather than just the season finale, was also voted down.

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