It’s back but what impact will old qualifying format have in China?

While everyone seems very excited about the prospect of returning to the 2015 qualifying format, I was wondering today what we may be likely to see with the reversion back to the standard (if I can use that term) format?

I don’t think there will be much change at the front of the grid with Mercedes taking their rightful place on top of the heap but where it could get interesting is the mid field.

Recall Haas F1’s Esteban Gutierrez getting hung out over the 90-second time limit in Australia or Force India’s Sergio Perez in Bahrain only to have his teammate end up in 8th.

What I am suggesting is that the midfield teams have more time to get the best lap and while that work in favor of everyone it can also work against just as it always has but what I suspect is that you may just see a slight reshuffling of the midfield qualifying order than what we’ve seen so far.

I can see teams like Force India, McLaren, Toro Rosso, and even Haas F1 having more time to take and re-take the fight for higher position without the numbing effect of only having seven minutest to do so.

How do you see this unfolding? Do you think it will have any impact on what we’ve seen so far in the grid order or even race order? Or is it business as usual?

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Don Thorpe

Can’t answer the question, but it’s bound to be improvement over Australia and Bahrain


From a spectator’s point of view it will be a distinct improvement. I don’t think it will change the order of the cars too much, as the old system often had the odd driver or two qualifying out of their expected position due to being caught in traffic or the usual mistakes made when pushing to the limit. The elimination system really didn’t mix things up that much at all, it just made for an anticlimactic qualifying. The main victims in the elimination method were Kvyat and Perez, but neither of them seemed particularly fast in qualifying in the first… Read more »

Negative Camber

I think that’s a key point when you read my other post about the tires. It could play into the compound choice to start the race on and that might be interesting.


Indeed yes. I do like the choice of 3 compounds, however like you I wish teams weren’t forced to use at least 2 of them. Starting the race on the fastest set used in Q2 is enough to make things interesting imho. However I also expect that teams will eventually converge on the best tire choices – right now there’s quite a wide variety of strategies being pursued, with some teams (Williams especially) getting it badly wrong so far. Re the qualifying, the reinstated 2015 rules do allow for some tire strategy there at the risk of teams failing to… Read more »


it’s good especially for the mid field teams. It’s the Law of the Jungle instead of an artificial cake walk.