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F1 News: Formula One set to shake up the Qualifying format

F1 Grand Prix of Singapore - Qualifying
F1 Grand Prix - Qualifying
Waleed Shamsi
Modified 01 Oct 2018, 13:20 IST

2019 season may bring changes to the sport's Qualifying sessions. Reports say that a session of Q4 may be added as early as 2019.

Qualifying is currently split into three sections, five drivers dropping out in Q1 and Q2 respectively before Q3 decides the order of the top 10, and pole position with it.

The addition of Q4 would decide the position of Top 8 and Pole position but the make-up of the remaining sessions is yet to be determined.

Qualifying regulations were under the microscope at the Singapore Grand Prix – with the top 10’s tyres locked according to the compound they used in Q2 at all races.

While the likes of Sergio PerezRomain GrosjeanEsteban Ocon and Nico Hulkenberg were at risk – despite qualifying in the top 10 – as they had to start the race on the fragile hypersoft tyre, while those just behind on the grid were able to run longer off the line.

Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz Jr promptly jumped from 11th and 12th on the grid to seventh and eighth at the chequered flag without breaking much of a sweat.

After finishing 15th, Grosjean said,

I think it was a frustrating race for everyone who qualified between seventh and 10th on the hypersofts. It was such a poor tyre in the race. We did 10 laps and they completely went, while the ultrasofts did, I don’t know how many laps, 40? So, it’s almost better not to qualify in the top 10.

The current knockout system of qualifying has been in place since 2006, save for a brief dalliance with a ‘one-by-one’ format in 2016 that was soon shelved after a farcical debut in Australia.

If Q4 makes it to 2019 season, will it make any difference?

Published 01 Oct 2018, 13:20 IST
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