Date:Thursday March 17 2016
Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda has never been one for towing the corporate line and not speaking his mind.
And unsurprisingly he has not held his tongue in the discussions over the new Formula One qualifying format.
After some initial fears that the software required to run the new system and the graphics needed for the fans to understand what was going on wouldn't be ready until May, Formula One announced that new gimmicky qualifying format would be in full use come the opening race in Australia.
The previous qualifying system of three sessions has proved hugely popular since its introduction in 2006.
In the past Formula One has had qualifying split over two days, changed to one day and at one stage was changed to just one lap.
All had issues of either not enough running time on track, or not enough excitement.
But this three session system ensured that every driver would complete three competitive laps to progress through to the pole position shoot-out, tyre regulation tweaks over the years also ensured that drivers do partake in the final session and do not instead opt for strategy for the race.
The new qualifying format of Formula One will retain the current three sessions, but the timings and the eliminations will alter.
Instead of drivers being eliminated at the end of each session, drivers will be knocked out at 90 second intervals during each session.
Q1 will last 16 minutes and after 7 minutes the first elimination will be made with the slowest driver knocked out. From that point onward another driver will be knocked out every 90 seconds until the session ends.
Q2 will last 15 minutes with the remaining 15 drivers taking part. After 6 minutes the first elimination will be made with the slowest driver knocked out and again from that point onward another driver would be knocked out every 90 seconds until the session ends.
Q3 will consist of just 8 drivers instead of the previous 10 and the session will increase from 10 to 14 minutes.
After 5 minutes, 8th place on the grid will be decided with the slowest driver of Q3 eliminated. Then every 90 seconds another driver will be knocked out to make up the grid.
The idea is that it will add an element of unpredictability to qualifying.
The changes haven't proved popular with the drivers, who held a meeting with FIA race director Charlie Whiting during the winter tests in Barcelona.
But despite their reservations the new rules were approved and implemented for the 2016 and it appears mainly on the thought that it was the best of a two poor ideas.
'The new format seems stupid, I am part of the Strategy Group and Ecclestone came up with the idea that it would be necessary to change something in the fight for pole position in order to make it more competitive. Lauda told Gazzetta dello Sport.
'The initial proposal was to reverse the grid, with the fastest time in 10th place and so on.
'For us at Mercedes it was not a compelling idea. So it was better to accept the other proposal, though I don't know if everything will be ready in Melbourne to deliver it.'
Let's wait and see how it works.
For those at the track is seems a complicated process and one that will be difficult to follow. Lets hope that its a little easier on television.
Who will win the Australian Grand Prix?
Let us know by voting on our poll to the right of this article.
Also do not forget to enter our Vital Formula One Prediction Competition which will be running all season long.
Date:Thursday March 17 2016
Blog: Sochi Preview (Wednesday April 26 2017)
Honda to hand McLaren duo more reliable engine? (Tuesday April 25 2017)
F1 prediction competition open for Russia (Monday April 24 2017)
Who will win in Russia? (Monday April 24 2017)
Formula One loses long standing Grand Prix (Friday April 21 2017)
Grid penalty for Sainz in Russia (Thursday April 20 2017)
Mercedes to implement team orders? (Wednesday April 19 2017)
Vettel celebrating second win of the season (Tuesday April 18 2017)
Blog: Bahrain GP Report (Monday April 17 2017)
2017 Bahrain GP - Race (Sunday April 16 2017)
Blog: Sakhir Qualifying (Saturday April 15 2017)
2017 Bahrain GP - Qualifying (Saturday April 15 2017)
2017 Bahrain GP - FP3 (Saturday April 15 2017)
2017 Bahrain GP - FP2 (Friday April 14 2017)
2017 Bahrain GP - FP1 (Friday April 14 2017)
Button the only suitable replacement for Alonso (Friday April 14 2017)
Alonso targets Indy 500 and Le Mans 24 victories (Thursday April 13 2017)
Blog: Sakhir Preview (Wednesday April 12 2017)
Who will win in Bahrain? (Tuesday April 11 2017)
F1 Prediction Competition open for Bahrain (Tuesday April 11 2017)
Hamilton loving battle with Vettel (Tuesday April 11 2017)
Blog: Chinese GP Report (Monday April 10 2017)
2017 China GP - Race (Sunday April 9 2017)
Blog: Shanghai Qualifying (Saturday April 8 2017)
2017 China GP - Qualifying (Saturday April 8 2017)
2017 China GP - FP3 (Saturday April 8 2017)
2017 China GP - FP2 (Friday April 7 2017)
2017 China GP - FP1 (Friday April 7 2017)
Formula One's V6 Turbo-Hybrid era to end (Thursday April 6 2017)
Blog: Shanghai Preview (Wednesday April 5 2017)
Honda to supply Sauber? (Wednesday April 5 2017)
Hamilton enjoying Vettel and Ferrari contest (Tuesday April 4 2017)
F1 Prediction Competition open for China (Tuesday April 4 2017)
Bottas on par with Rosberg says Lauda (Monday April 3 2017)
Who will win in China? (Monday April 3 2017)
Mixed feelings for Red Bull (Friday March 31 2017)
McLaren worst car on the grid according to Alonso (Thursday March 30 2017)
Were Ferrari quicker than Mercedes in Australia? (Wednesday March 29 2017)
Vettel hoping for love affair with new Ferrari (Tuesday March 28 2017)
Blog: Australian GP Report (Monday March 27 2017)
2017 Australia GP - Race (Sunday March 26 2017)
2017 Australia GP - Qualifying (Saturday March 25 2017)
2017 Australia GP - FP3 (Saturday March 25 2017)
2017 Australia GP - FP2 (Saturday March 25 2017)
2017 Australia GP - FP1 (Saturday March 25 2017)
More calls to ban the shark fins (Friday March 24 2017)
Renault call for engine budget cap (Thursday March 23 2017)
Blog: Melbourne Preview (Thursday March 23 2017)
McLaren would be winners if paired with Mercedes (Wednesday March 22 2017)
Mercedes to show true hand in Australia (Tuesday March 21 2017)
Who will win the opening race of 2017? (Tuesday March 21 2017)
European tracks are the heart of F1 fan base (Monday March 20 2017)
Lowe to become shareholder in Williams (Monday March 20 2017)
Renault can improve - Hopefully (Friday March 17 2017)
Red Bull can catch Mercedes, but not yet (Thursday March 16 2017)
McLaren looking shaky (Wednesday March 15 2017)
Surtees dies aged 83 (Tuesday March 14 2017)
F1 prediction competition returns for 2017 (Monday March 13 2017)
Ferrari end second test on top (Monday March 13 2017)
Alonso bigs up McLaren but lambasts Honda (Friday March 10 2017)
F1 ratings in UK collapse (Friday March 10 2017)
Mercedes sitting pretty on day two of second test (Thursday March 9 2017)
Canada sign new race deal with Formula One (Thursday March 9 2017)
Williams rule on first day of second test (Wednesday March 8 2017)
Brawn pushing for cash race for teams (Wednesday March 8 2017)
Bottas is my best teammate ever says Hamilton (Tuesday March 7 2017)
Sauber announce Columbian as development driver (Monday March 6 2017)
Ferrari on top in the wet (Friday March 3 2017)
New deal for Russian Grand Prix (Friday March 3 2017)
Merc and Ferrari pick up the pace (Thursday March 2 2017)
Teams set for wet weather test in Barcelona (Thursday March 2 2017)
Ferrari faster than Mercedes? (Wednesday March 1 2017)
Bottas sees Hamilton as great challenge (Tuesday February 28 2017)
Horner calls for shark fin ban (Tuesday February 28 2017)
Hamilton and Mercedes happy on test day one (Tuesday February 28 2017)
Alonso held talks with Mercedes (Monday February 27 2017)
Some drivers don't deserve to be in F1 says Lewis (Friday February 24 2017)
Bottas targets F1 title (Friday February 24 2017)
Renault take Red Bull aero expert (Thursday February 23 2017)
Pirelli already making excuses? (Thursday February 23 2017)
Williams adds new head of aerodynamics (Wednesday February 22 2017)
Renault engine can beat Mercedes (Wednesday February 22 2017)
Allison announced at Mercedes (Tuesday February 21 2017)
McLaren heading into another year of the unknown (Tuesday February 21 2017)
New deals for Wolff and Lauda (Monday February 20 2017)
Wehrlein sidelined due to back injury (Monday February 20 2017)
Williams backs F1 budget cap (Monday February 20 2017)
Sauber launch 2017 car (Monday February 20 2017)
Hamilton sends warning shot to Bottas (Friday February 17 2017)
F1 to break the US market (Thursday February 16 2017)
Rosberg doesn't agree with his replacement (Wednesday February 15 2017)
F1 pecking order unlikely to change (Tuesday February 14 2017)
Important Pirelli tyre test ends early (Monday February 13 2017)
Red Bull confidence builds as momentum grows (Friday February 10 2017)
Todt believes F1 doesn't need changing (Thursday February 9 2017)
Bahrain & Hungary to host 2017's in-season tes (Wednesday February 8 2017)
Ford not interested in joining F1 (Tuesday February 7 2017)
Wolff backs Bernie's influence (Monday February 6 2017)
Ecclestone will not attempt to destroy F1 (Monday February 6 2017)
2017 Formula One Calendar (Friday February 3 2017)
|7.||Push The Button||497|