Formula 1 qualifying rules set to change this season to spice up the spectacle

Qualifying tweaks are being planned for 2014

Qualifying tweaks are being planned for 2014

The powers that be in Formula 1 look set to introduce an eleventh-hour change to the qualifying rules for the 2014 World Championship season, according to media reports.

Just five weeks ahead of the Melbourne season opener, team bosses, Bernie Ecclestone and the governing FIA will meet in Bahrain on 21 February, during the official test session in the island Kingdom, to discuss the issue.

The Mirror newspaper said that the changes would be to ensure that drivers cannot sit out the decisive Q3 segment of qualifying, in order to save tyres or for other tactical and reliability reasons.

“Some believe that a return to the free-for-all hour long sessions of the past is the answer because the current three-part formula has added nothing to the Saturday spectacle,” said correspondent Byron Young.

Teams will not be able to sit out Q3 as they have done in the past

Drivers will not be able to sit out Q3 as they have done in the past

The Telegraph’s new Formula 1 correspondent Daniel Johnson added: “To try and maintain the spectacle ,[the] strategy group has asked the teams and the FIA to come up with ways of forcing drivers to go for the best grid positions in Q3.

“Plans likely to be discussed are believed to include supplying drivers with an extra set of Qualifying tyres, specifically for the final part of the session,” he added.

Not likely to get voted through in Bahrain, meanwhile, is an extension of Bernie Ecclestone’s highly unpopular new double points concept.

To keep the title alive until the end, drivers will score twice as many points at the season finale in Abu Dhabi this year, but Formula 1’s Chief Executive has written to the teams asking that they vote for the concept to also include the preceeding two races.

Sebastian Vettelhas been the master of F1 qualifying in recent years

Sebastian Vettelhas been the master of F1 qualifying in recent years

Red Bull’s Christian Horner, no fan of the concept initially, indicated that he would support extending the scheme to three races because that would “take away an element of lottery over that last race”.

But because the proposed change is occurring so late, it would require a unanimous vote, and there are reports that the Mercedes-powered teams have no mind to support it.

Other teams are reportedly also not keen, a mischievous Lotus spokesman telling the BBC: “The best thing would be to make all the races double points.”

The British media report added: “More than one top team believes that it would be wrong to change the rules a month before the start of the season.” (GMM)

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  • Siross

    Why not have double points for all the races, that way the FIA can ‘earn’ even more money on the drivers super licences and the teams entry fees….

  • jurrabi

    I do think 3 parter qualifying added fun to Saturdays. And we can even place our eyes for a moment (during Q1) in the “other” teams to get involved for a second in “their fight”.

    The issue with saving wheels in Q3 is not caused by the 3 parter qualifying but because of the huge difference in cars we had this last seasons that made second best teams try for “something different”.

    Shortening differences will solve all issues.

  • Shifty Gears

    Top 10 shoot out for pole. 1 lap hot each.

  • Tamburello1994

    The novelty of the Q1-3 format has worn off (at least for me anyway) wouldn’t mind the old school hour long melee session again.

    Ditch the dbl pts and bring back fueling. Quit tinkering and get back to what works.

  • McLarenfan

    If i remember rightly the reason for ditching the 1 hour blast was because the top teams did nothing for the first half an hour so the brains started messing and we had everything from 1 flying lap right up to the 3 part that we have now, How about we do qualifying in the top gear car? Every driver has 1 lap no tyre tampering.

  • Adall

    Award championship points for top 10 qualifying positions and drop the crazy double points at the last race.

  • Awang Selamat Karim

    Keep the 3-part quali, and award like… 5 points for pole sitter.