When the new qualifying format was announced, I was a little surprised. Not because it is the one element of F1 that most fans are happy with thus not needing a change but because I was slightly concerned about how the fans at home would be able to track the minute-by-minute elimination of cars on track.
That takes quite a bit of thinking on the technical side as to how best track the cars and then relay that information to some sort of graphic that can be understood on-screen for fans at home. I’m not saying it’s impossible, just that it takes some time to think that one through. It’s a big change and more reliant on real-time data and system management than ever.
According to the Independent, F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone says that the new format may have to wait until Spain at the earliest as the IT folks have to get all of this sorted.
“The new qualifying won’t happen because we can’t get everything ready in time,” Ecclestone told the Independent. “We can’t get the software done in time. So the qualifying changes will probably be in Spain.”
In the end, it would be surprising to see the sport actually change the format mid-season as teams are usually very touchy about such things. They don’t like mid-stream changes and it would stand to reason that perhaps the new qualifying format may not come in 2016 but that’s just a guess on my part. Regardless, it’s not what Ecclestone wanted in the first place:
“I wanted a very simple thing. I wanted qualifying to stay as it is, because it is good and then if a guy is on pole and has won the last race he gets so many seconds added to his tie so he has to fight through the bloody pack to get in the lead, which he would do in the end. It would be exciting racing whilst he is doing it”
One would consider the type of change the F1 Commission has agreed to would have been vetted with F1’s technical wonks prior to being approved and announced wouldn’t you?
Hat Tip: The Independent