Teams Agree on One Qualifying Session in 2004

Formula One bosses have agreed to revamp the 2004 Grand Prix timetable by limiting qualifying to one expanded Saturday session and scrapping private testing at race weekends.

Teams Agree on One Qualifying Session in 2004

Formula One bosses have agreed to revamp the 2004 Grand Prix timetable by limiting qualifying to one expanded Saturday session and scrapping private testing at race weekends.

Minardi boss Paul Stoddart told Reuters after a meeting of the International Automobile Federation's (FIA) Formula One Commission on Friday that he was disappointed. "From the smaller teams' point of view, there's nothing in it for us," he said.

Stoddart said the commission, which includes the 10 team bosses, had agreed to scrap Friday's qualifying in exchange for allowing the bottom six teams to run a third car in free practice that day.

The decisions must still be passed by the governing body's World Motor Sport Council later this month.

Free Practice

Friday free practice would be from 11:00 to 12:00 and from 14:00 to 15:00 local time, filling the space used by first qualifying this year.

Saturday's qualifying would be expanded to run from 14:00 to 15:30, with morning free practice as usual, and each driver having two timed laps instead of just one at present.

Stoddart said the starting order would be determined by the result of the previous race, rather than the Championship positions as happens now.

The driver with the slowest initial lap would then be first out for the decisive qualifying lap.

The Minardi boss said that format would penalise the smaller teams.

He feared that a driver like Ferrari's World Champion Michael Schumacher could start first and set the fastest time - giving him up to an hour and a half to tune his car for the second run while others had quicker turnarounds.

Stoddart said testing will be limited to 48 days per team during the season, which runs from March to October, with no limitations out of season.

There were no changes to the Sunday timetable.

Engine Rules

The rules covering engines are also due to change next year with teams limited to one engine per car for the weekend, which will be deemed to have started with Friday's first practice. In theory, that means an engine may have to last up to 700 km.

Sunday qualifying had been raised as an option by Formula one supremo Bernie Ecclestone but that was rejected by all teams.

Ecclestone had backed the idea to give spectators more for their money after changes introduced this year ended the usual Sunday warm-up session.

Small and big teams alike opposed the move.

"If we put qualifying on Sunday morning, there would be even less interest on Saturday," said BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen last weekend. "You want all the speculation on Saturdays.

Formula One changed the qualifying format this year to two sessions, the first on Friday and the second on Saturday, to shake up the sport after television audiences began to suffer from a year of Ferrari domination.

Previously, there was one hour-long session on Saturday, with drivers able to complete four flying laps at a time of their choosing.

Team bosses had also considered reverting to the previous free-for-all format on Friday, with the times dictating the starting order for Saturday's one-shot session.

shares
comments
Pizzonia Makes Fast Return at Jerez - Day Four

Previous article

Pizzonia Makes Fast Return at Jerez - Day Four

Next article

Japan Preview Quotes: BAR

Japan Preview Quotes: BAR
Load comments
Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material Plus

Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull Plus

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be another close contest

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Plus

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Plus

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Plus

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. On the 50th anniversary of his death, Autosport recalls the career of an F1 and sportscar ace gone before his time

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Plus

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Plus

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz Jr. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021