Formula 1 could get new qualifying format for 2019

The FIA is considering switching the Formula 1 qualifying format to four sessions for 2019 in an effort to generate more excitement

Formula 1 could get new qualifying format for 2019

A revised format discussed at the recent Strategy Group meeting would involve four cars being eliminated in Q1, Q2 and Q3, leaving just eight for a final shootout in a new Q4 session.

The idea is that it would create more uncertainty because the top runners would have to get everything right three times just to get into the final session, increasing the chances of unexpected results.

It could also make it potentially harder for even the faster drivers to gamble on getting into the final session on a harder tyre, because only eight rather than 10 slots would be available.

Another potential benefit is that the ninth and 10th qualifiers would have a free choice of tyres, meaning that fewer midfield drivers would face the problem of being committed to the 'wrong' tyre for the start.

The plan, first floated by the F1 organisation, will now be discussed further.

"It's more something that's come from F1," said F1 race director Charlie Whiting.

"They've been doing a lot of research among fans, and they feel this is one of the things that the fans would like.

"Slightly shorter [sessions], slightly shorter time between them, four go out in Q1, four, four, leaving eight.

"I personally think it's quite a nice idea, but that's not my decision."

Whiting said details such as the impact on tyre allocation still have to be discussed.

"Our next action is to see exactly what would be required tyre wise," he said.

"I can't honestly remember what Q4 was [proposed to be] in length - I think it was 10 minutes - and thus whether or not you could do two runs with two sets of tyres in Q4.

"That's something that needs to be looked at carefully."

The current qualifying format came under fresh criticism during last weekend's Russian Grand Prix when the combination of teams already condemned to component-change grid penalties sitting the session out and others being unwilling to compromise their race-day tyre tactics meant only 10 cars participated in Q2 and all automatically went through.

shares
comments
Mercedes' Wolff takes blame for Hamilton Russian GP pitstop timing

Previous article

Mercedes' Wolff takes blame for Hamilton Russian GP pitstop timing

Next article

Vettel didn't want to be 'complete arse' in Sochi Hamilton battle

Vettel didn't want to be 'complete arse' in Sochi Hamilton battle
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Adam Cooper
Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Plus

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Plus

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well-aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead on pace. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent Plus

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent

While Japan's fever for motor racing is well-documented, the country has yet to produce a Formula 1 superstar – but that could be about to change, says BEN EDWARDS

Formula 1
Apr 15, 2021
Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration Plus

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration

For too long, F1's richest teams have justified being able to spend as much as they want because that's the way they've always conducted their business. STUART CODLING says that's no reason not to kick a bad habit

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Plus

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is not guaranteed

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return Plus

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021