Sunday , 21 January 2018
Daimler
Daimler

New Qualifying – New Problems

Saturday saw the introduction of a new qualifying system in F1, the first change since the knockout format was introduced in 2006.

The new system keeps the knockout format, but takes it a step further: drivers, after a certain number of minutes in each session, are eliminated every 90 seconds.

On paper, and without thinking in too much detail about it, the changes looked promising.

It would mean the drivers would be under constant pressure to deliver and could lead to mixed up grids.

In reality, though, it failed. Miserably.

Q1 started off in dramatic fashion, with all drivers taking to the track early on to ensure they made it through to Q2.

But, in the same session, we saw the flaws with the system. There seemed to be a few cases of teams not understanding the rules about when the driver was eliminated.

A number of drivers started a lap that could’ve seen them safe too late. The only time you can finish your lap after elimination is if you’re the last driver left in that session.

So straight away, we have confusing rules. Can a driver finish a lap or not?

And while Q1 seemed okay – and would improve as teams worked out the session – it soon went downhill.

It became apparent who was going to be eliminated before they were. Since there is only a set number of tyres available to each driver, they have to manage how to use them.

And on tyres that can’t do many laps, drivers won’t do many laps.

Q3, where eight cars compete for pole position, was even worse.

Pole position was decided with four minutes left of the session. Four minutes of the session left where no one was on track.

Qualifying was over. Before the session ended. That was it. Done.

The new session had potential. It failed to live up to that potential.

There’s only one solution for qualifying now, and that is to go back to the 2015 format mid-season, a bit like the 2005 aggregate qualifying system.

That was stopped mid-season. Now it’s time for the elimination style qualifying to be dropped too.

About Jack Amey

Recent sport journalism graduate looking to break into the world of journalism. Usually found writing about Formula E or F1 opinion pieces here, or making a match day programme for a local club. Or looking for a job.

Check Also

Red Bull Content Pool/Getty Images

How Daniil Kvyat can take inspiration from new team-mate Brendon Hartley

It has not been the best 18 months for Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat. He has been demoted twice, reinstated (perhaps only temporarily) and now his career as a grand prix driver is under serious threat from New Zealander Brendon Hartley of sportscar fame. However, Hartley’s story and return to a Formula 1 cockpit after five years should not be a deterrent for the young Russian, but should inspire him to consider reinventing himself as a driver.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close