The debate over a possible switch to a four-part Formula 1 qualifying system for 2020 represents something of a test case as the championship heads towards potentially much bigger format changes for '21 and beyond.
This time last year we had an example on the technical regulations side. After an Australian Grand Prix that featured little overtaking, an initiative started by Jean Todt to help the cars follow more easily was discussed by the FIA, F1 and the teams, and aero changes were eventually pushed through. The consensus was it was better to try something new now rather than wait for wholesale changes a couple of years down the line.
That philosophy has now been applied to the sporting regulations, but with a few differences. Instead of starting with Jean Todt and the FIA, the impetus for four-part qualifying came from F1's owners. And unlike last year, when time was short and the aero changes had to be fast-tracked, this time discussions have been underway for a while.