Could the new proposed qualifying format help make Formula One more engaging?

BBC Sport are reporting a major change to the qualifying system in an attempt to make the sport more engaging and unpredictable.

Following Sebastian Vettel’s four back to back World Championships, Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have dominated the F1 world for the past two years. A poll last year revealed that ratings for coverage of Formula one across the world has dropped by 30% (thats around 175 million viewers) in the last six years.

As a result, the FIA has been working hard to find solutions to make 2016 more competitive.

One of those suggestions is a radical change to qualifying- where drivers will be eliminated every 90 seconds rather than at the end of the session.

Pole position will be contested by the two remaining drivers in a 90-second shootout at the end of Q3.

The proposal still needs to be confirmed and teams have not fully committed to the idea, but it could make team tactics all the more important.

We should see less of the teams sitting motionless in the pits feeling comfortable with their times and more time on the track constantly posting lap times.

However, faster cars such as Ferrari and Mercedes will more than likely still be able to ease into Q3 with a single lap posted.

Pit Crew Online’s Ferrari writer Jack Prentice feels that the change won’t make the sport anymore competitive or engaging for audiences.

“It isn’t needed,” he said.

“They tried to fix something that isn’t broken, there are more pressing issues such as the financial sides of the sport that need to be addressed.

“Qualifying was one of the most exciting parts of the weekend as it was. It doesn’t need the 90 second eliminations.

“If your starting a lap at a track such as Spa which takes around one minute fifty seconds to complete, you could be out randomly before you have even got through the first sector, or before you complete your lap.”

It’s early days as testing ahead of the 2016 season has only just begun, but there has been a show in improvement from both McLaren Honda and Red Bull compared to their 2015 models.

Whether or not that means that they will keep up with the likes of Mercedes is yet to be seen.

Other suggestions to make the sport more competitive include making the cars wider with bigger tyres and allowing fans to vote for a driver of the day for each race.

Further along the line we could see head protection introduced in 2017 following the death of Jules Bianchi last July.




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