If it Ain't Broke, Fix it?

If it Ain't Broke, Fix it?

If you hear the sound of people fixing problems that no one complained of then it must be Formula 1 season again.  With less than a month before the season opener in Australia, on March 20th, Formula 1 teams just wrapped up their last day of preseason testing in Barcelona Spain.

The FiA and the F1 Commission met a few days ago to finalize rules changes for 2016 and 2017.  For 2017 they want bigger tires, bigger wings and higher speeds.  These potential changes could add some excitement to F1.  2017 could also be the year some type of driver cockpit head protection is introduced, but the FiA is still evaluating various options from a canopy type solution to an open halo design. 

For 2016 they decided to fix something that wasn’t broken, the qualifying system.  Under the proposed change qualifying would now look like this:

There will still be a three-part qualifying session but the plan is to adapt it as follows:

  • Q1 will last for 16 minutes
  • The slowest driver is eliminated after seven minutes
  • Then one will go every 90 seconds until seven drivers are out
  • Q2 will last for 15 minutes
  • The slowest driver will be eliminated after six minutes
  • Then one will go every 90 seconds until the end of the session
  • That leaves eight drivers in final qualifying.
  • Q3 will last for 14 minutes
  • The slowest driver will be eliminated after five minutes
  • Then one will go every 90 seconds until there are two drivers left
  • There will then be a final 90-second shoot-out for pole position

When one of the criticism is that F1 doesn’t draw in enough American fans because it is too complex is this really the solution?  A solution to a non-existant problem.  Oh well, we still count the days until the first race.

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