F1 2016: The new elimination-style qualifying regulations explained
The 2016 Formula 1 season is just around the bend with the Australian GP set to flag off this weekend (click here to read our explanation of the 2016 F1 cars). The F1 Commission and the FIA recently approved changes to the way qualifying rounds takes place in the 2016 season. The new elimination-style qualifying will continue to have three knock-out sessions but with a changed format.
The first qualifying session will be open for a total of 16 minutes. Seven minutes after the start, the slowest driver on the track will be eliminated, sending him back to the pits. Every minute and a half after that, the slowest driver on the track will be eliminated until the chequered flag. By the end of Q1, seven drivers will have been eliminated and 15 will move on to Q2.
The second session will be 15 minutes long and this time, six minutes after the start, the slowest driver on the circuit will be sent back to the pits. Again, every one and a half minutes a driver will be eliminated till the end of the session. With seven drivers eliminated in Q2, eight will head into Q3.
The final qualifying session will be a minute shorter than Q2 and the slowest driver will first be eliminated after five minutes. Elimination then will occur at 6 minutes 30 seconds, 8 minutes, 9 minutes 30 seconds, 11 minutes and at 12 minutes 30 seconds, at which point there will be only two drivers on the track for the last minute and a half.