Clearly ignoring the mantra of ‘if it aint broke, don’t fix it’, and seemingly unaware of the disaster of 2016 when a revised format was dropped after just a couple of races, F1 bosses are looking to revise the current qualifying format for 2019.
Rather than three sessions which see the slowest five eliminated in Q1, and the slowest five in Q2, leaving ten drivers for the final shoot-out, the revised format would see three sessions in which the slowest four are eliminated each time leaving eight drivers in the final shoot-out.
Naturally, according to race director, Charlie Whiting, the move would be in a bid to generate “excitement”.
“It’s more something that’s come from F1,” Whiting admitted. “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,” he added.
Of course, whether these “fans” are the same “fans” that approved the recent F1 timing app that was dropped after just one race isn’t clear, but other “fans” are sure to have their opinion.
Asked how a revised format would affect tyre allocation, Whiting said: “Our next action is to see exactly what would be required. I can’t honestly remember what Q4 was 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.”