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Drivers Oppose New F1 Qualifying System

With F1 mulling over changes to the sport to entice audiences to tune in every week and to make things more entertaining, things seem to be going just against their needs. The FIA announced the results of the meeting at Geneva a few days back. The key change that was proposed was the introduction of a new qualifying system. While the new system has run into troubles and may not be introduced until the race at Barcelona, there seems to be more dissent among the drivers in the paddock over the system. The drivers have opposed the new F1 qualifying system.


As part of the wider plan to consult drivers more about F1’s rules, race director Charlie Whiting summoned those present at the testing in Barcelona to a gathering on Wednesday evening. Behind the closed doors of the FIA motorhome, drivers Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel, Nico Rosberg, Felipe Massa and Sergio Perez discussed a host of matters that pertained to the new changes, including the qualifying format.

sergio perez

According to Sergio Perez, there was clear opposition from the drivers about the proposal to change qualifying.

Sergio Perez further elaborated, “We are obviously not very happy with the new plans they want to implement, let’s see if they can change it. We felt that it could be very complicated for the fans to understand – it’s complicated for us already. We also felt that qualifying is really good at the moment and there is no reason to change that.”

Renault’s Kevin Magnussen admitted that it would be a handicap for F1 drivers and teams preparing for the 2016 season to not know what the new qualifying system would be.


Magnussen had this to say ” Yeah, obviously, it would be better to know and easier to prepare. Let’s see what happens. We give our opinion, but it is not up to us to decide.”

The conclusion is that the new changes to the qualifying system has been thrown into uncertainty. This development comes a week after F1 teams and chiefs agreed on an elimination system of qualifying. First, Bernie Eccelstone said that the idea would have to be delayed till the Spanish GP before the timekeeping systems could be put into place. F1 team managers agreed to the knock out system in place for Q1 and Q2, whilst retaining the original all-cars-on-track format with Q3.

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Unanimous approval is required by the teams for the change and that is something that does not seem to be possible. Ferrari had earlier approved the new qualifying format, but now, it has come to light that they are against it as well. With the FIA’s World Motorsport Council meeting on Friday, time is running out to get the paperwork sorted out for the changes in the new qualifying system.

Stay tuned with us as we bring you the latest news and developments from the world of F1 as we look to the start of the 2016 season.

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About Suhas S

Motorcyclist, Traveler, Aerospace Engineer and your friendly neighborhood Batman. Suhas has been meandering on two wheels since 2008. His love for automobiles, aeroplanes and his passion for travel has brought him here. He's a RC plane hobbyist currently building a Supermarine Spitfire and the Associate Editor at TheMotorLife

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