Formula 1 set for new qualifying format

By on Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Formula 1 could adopt a revised qualifying system in 2016, the first major change to the format in a decade.

Since 2006, Formula 1 has used a knockout system in three stages, with the fastest 10 drivers competing in a final pole position shootout.

Following a meeting of the Strategy Group and the F1 Commission on Tuesday, it was agreed that a rapid-style elimination format could be introduced.

The current Q1, Q2, Q3 will be retained but in revised format, with the slowest driver at certain stages being knocked out.

Q1 will last 16 minutes and seven minutes into the session the slowest driver will be eliminated, with the process repeated every 90 seconds; Q2 will be similar, until eight drivers remain for Q3.

The 14-minute Q3 session will also feature a knockout stage after five minutes until just two drivers are left to fight it out for pole position.

"The new system is being evaluated for introduction, potentially as soon as the beginning of the 2016 season," read an FIA statement.

A driver of the day award, voted by viewers, will also be introduced this year.

"Viewers will be encouraged to vote online for their "Driver of the Day" throughout a Grand Prix, with the winner to be announced as part of the race broadcast immediately following the conclusion of the race, when the driver will be presented with their prize," concluded the statement.

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