F1 qualifying: Promoters wanted shake-up to improve the show

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier believes Formula 1's new qualifying format will produce "unpredictability" and place more pressure on drivers and teams

F1 qualifying: Promoters wanted shake-up to improve the show

Following meetings of the Strategy Group and F1 Commission in Geneva on Tuesday it was decided qualifying would be given an overhaul.

Autosport understands the teams decided to make the changes in the wake of a request from the promoters to help improve the show.

The end result is a knock-out style set-up where through each of the three qualifying sessions the slowest driver will be eliminated after numerous time intervals.

The finer details regarding tyre and fuel use are now in the hands of FIA technical director Charlie Whiting ahead of the system's planned introduction at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

Boullier told Autosport: "Everybody has an opinion, pros and cons, which is fine, and in the end we have to sometimes listen to the commercial rights holder [Bernie Ecclestone] and keep the DNA of F1, but also to make it better.

"I don't think there is such a big change in the qualifying format, except that it will create a little more unpredictability.

"If a driver makes a mistake then he is going to pay the price straight away because if you do not set a lap time at the right time then you can be out, wherever you are."

Boullier feels for the majority of the time the dominant force in Mercedes will continue to claim pole, although with the likelihood of the odd upset now and again.

"There is going to be more pressure on the drivers, but more pressure on the team as well," added Boullier.

"If your car is degrading its tyres then while you may be quickest after seven minutes, you may only be third fastest at the end of the session and so you miss pole.

"So as I say, it's going to create unpredictability, but at the end the best car and driver will be at the front, the worst at the back.

"There may be times, though, when Mercedes will miss pole, which will be good for the show."

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