Quali not resolved, now teams contemplate aggregate system

The teams met today to discuss the qualifying system and once again, the FIA have shown up to the discussion without the option to revert back to the 2015 format. This time, they’ve offered the teams a vote on a hybrid version of the new system in which Q1 and Q2 remain as it is but the Q3 session uses the old format.

It’s understood that Red Bull’s Christian Horner isn’t keen on a hybrid system and would prefer the 2015 version and many fans feel the same.

The other option the FIA have show up with is a new system in which the session is broken down into three sections and aggregate times are used for all three sessions. Two laps for each session are combined and an aggregate time is derived. Horner said:

“It’s a compromise, and something now we all have to go away and have a look at,” said Christian Horner.

“No-one likes the current system, so this idea is a step in the right direction.

“It at least has elements of the 2015 system, which is what the teams prefer, but with the addition of each driver needing to do two laps, and with the aggregate taken.”

The teams are set to vote on the issue by Thursday and while Sky Sports attempted to ask FIA president Jean Todt why he was doing this, he was evasive as was F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone.

It’s logic-defying that we continue to debate the qualifying format as most fans feel like it wasn’t broken to begin with and an aggregate timed pole position is simply not a way to go. Pole positions aren’t derived from aggregates. It’s derived from the fastest lap.

It’s unclear as to why, exactly, the FIA keep showing up with new qualifying formats and seem to desperately want to avoid using last year’s format. One has to assume it’s a power play and attempt to “spice up the show” by using the sporting regulations which I have issues with as I mentioned here.


0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

charlie white

I think Kimi got it right: “we look like fools”. At this point, I just don’t care anymore. It’s not that hard and yet, you Formula-1 teams, managers, rights holders and promoters, make it hard to love you. This year, I’ll settle for a single race day ticket for the USGP and look forward to watching Taylor Swift after the parade.


She’s actually playing on Saturday, not Sunday

charlie white

I don’t believe that’s right. I’m sure the FIA, the teams or the promoters want the fans on the track, even after Qualifying, at any point during the race weekend. The COTA site has no information on concert time.


Makes sense. She could give a performance in three parts – the last three minutes of each quali…

The Captain
Dr T

That looks like Kimi @ the Aussie GP

Gordon Robertson

will not watch

Tim C.

What arrogance! No one wants this quali format, but they still try and force it (or some version of it through). This is just a matter of not wanting to admit a mistake was made. Like others, I’ll pass on quali until someone makes a rational decision. Quali was one of the best parts of a weekend and it has been ruined.


Just think, if they hadn’t changed qualifying this year, we would have to talk about the actual racing….

Junipero Mariano

New qualifying really didn’t affect the Bahrain podium very much. The pace of 4th and 5th place seemed good as well i.e. they were going to end up there no matter where you started them.


They are trying to get the cars on track longer by making more laps count.
Absolutely absurd.
Did you hear Bernies comments on Sky’s pre-race coverage? He HAS lost the plot, I thought he was being clever, but nope… He’s lost his marbles.


They want to mix up the grid by teams making a mistake. Why don’t they try to mix up the grid by giving the teams an incentive to start at the back. I believe that they should change the point system to include both your finishing position AND points for improvement from your starting position. If the points could be structured so that a car starting last and finishing in 4th or 5th actually scores more point than a car starting on pole and winning, then the fastest car in qualifying could be given their choice of grid spots. This… Read more »

Andreas Möller

After qualifying, Joe Saward said to Ted Kravitz that if they don’t return to the 2015 qualifying system by China, they are numbskulls. Meanwhile, Jean Todt said in an interview that there was “unanimous disagreement” (er… what??) about whether Q3 alone should be reverted back, or if the Melbourne system should be kept. No mention of the 100% agreement among the teams (in itself an event so rare that it’s almost unheard of) that the 2015 system – in its entirety – should be brought back. When questioned about it, he promised that “all options are open”. Fast forward to… Read more »


At this point they might as well try a different quality format for each race because I don’t care anymore.


I’ve got it. The best qualifying format should be:
Each drivers line up at the start line and standing in a burlap sack. They will skip with one leg down the straight. Similar to the three slowest 5 gets eliminated and the other goes to Q2, and so on.


Opps, I cut out part of my comment, but you get the idea.


Here are some example of the different qualifying formats that will be ran this season: In one format, the drivers will make a sprint down the longest straight of the track. At the end of the straight they will each jump into a go cart and race around the track for 3 laps. Their start position will be decided by aggregating the time of their foot sprint and their fastest lap time in the go cart. Another format is known as the gentlemen fashion award. Here, the drivers will dress up in cultural attires that are relevant to the nation… Read more »


All they need is one more race (to make 22 in all) and the drivers can take it in turns to start one race a year from each grid position.


Between the FIA quali debacle and the US presidential primary mud-slinging I’m not sure which is the greater reason to turn off right now! It’s evident that Todtlestone are not going to blink first so we’re going to get stuck with something (yet to be defined) that is going to be different to 2015. Isn’t the main issue with the 3-part elimination format that there’s not enough time, tires, fuel in the car, to make it work using the old 3 session quali format. Surely it’d make more sense and may even work if there was only one session, they… Read more »

Peter Riva

In case anyone from NBCSN reads this: At my house NO ONE watched qualifying. We read the results (here) and looked forward to the race. Quali is not worth watching in the current format.
Tell Bernie. Maybe he can get what’s-his-name, the one in the Nazi uniform, to talk to Todt.


It seems to me that Jean Todt is the new “Plucky Teen” in F1. He is acting like a little spoiled brat and not listening.


Looks to me like Jean Todt is the new “Plucky Teen”. Not listening and digging the hole deeper every time he speaks.