F1 set to delay new qualifying format

By on Saturday, February 27, 2016
Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Formula 1 is set to delay the introduction of its amended qualifying format until the Spanish Grand Prix, after Bernie Ecclestone said that the required software changes cannot be made in time for the season-opening races.

The Strategy Group and F1 Commission met in Geneva last week to approve changes which would see drivers knockout out during Q1, Q2 and Q3 at selected intervals, rather than the current format.

However, Ecclestone says that the tweaks cannot be made in time for the Australian Grand Prix, which takes place in three weeks, and that the new system will not be introduced until at least the fifth round of 2016.

"The new qualifying format won’t happen as we can’t get everything together in time," he told The Independent.

"It was going to come in at the start of this year but we are not going to be able to get all the software done in time. So the qualifying changes will probably be in Spain.

"In Australia it will be the old qualifying. All of the software has to be written in and it’s not easy."

Ecclestone added that he wanted a system which would see the fastest driver receive a time penalty, forcing them to charge back through to the front of the field.

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