FIA releases Formula 1's new qualifying rules before Australian GP

The FIA has revised Formula 1's sporting rules to reflect controversial changes to the qualifying format

FIA releases Formula 1's new qualifying rules before Australian GP

The new knockout system will now be enforced from the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, despite suggestions from F1 commercial chief Bernie Ecclestone that its introduction would be delayed because of logistical problems.

How F1 created its qualifying shambles

The governing body approved a revised knockout format for the 2016 F1 season at a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council on March 4.

The format retains three separate qualifying periods running over the course of an hour, but mandates that the slowest cars should now be eliminated at 90-second intervals during the second half of each segment.

Following revisions to Article 33 of F1's sporting regulations, this is how the new procedure will work:

- Q1 will run for 16 minutes. All cars permitted on track. The slowest driver will be eliminated after 7 minutes and must return to the pitlane.
- The same procedure applies at 8m30s, 10m0s, 11m30s, 13m0s and 14m30s until 16 cars remain.
- At the end of Q1 all remaining drivers may complete a flying lap if they have crossed the line in time.
- Once those laps are completed and the classification established, the slowest driver will be eliminated, leaving 15 to contest the next stage.

- Q2 will run for 15 minutes. All remaining cars permitted on track. The slowest driver will be eliminated after 6 minutes and must return to the pitlane.
- The same procedure applies at 7m30s, 9m0s, 10m30s, 12m0s and 13m30s until 9 cars remain.
- At the end of Q2 all remaining drivers may complete a flying lap if they have crossed the line in time.
- Once those laps are completed and the classification established, the slowest driver will be eliminated, leaving 8 to contest the final stage.

- Q3 will run for 14 minutes. All eight remaining cars permitted on track. The slowest driver will be eliminated after 5 minutes and must return to the pitlane.
- The same procedure applies at 6m30s, 8m0s, 9m30s, 11m0s and 12m30s until 2 cars remain.
- At the end of Q3 both remaining drivers may complete a flying lap if they have crossed the line in time.
- Once those laps are completed the final classification will be established.

The rules also state: "The procedure is based upon 22 cars being officially eligible to take part in the event.

"If 24 cars are eligible, eight will be excluded after Q1 and Q2.

"If 26 cars are eligible nine cars will be excluded after Q1 and Q2.

"If necessary, the intervals between the sessions and eliminations will be adjusted to ensure Q3 remains unchanged."

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Series Formula 1
Author Ben Anderson
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