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Saturday, July 16, 2005

2006 qualifying hopefuls

it was as though formula 1 can read my mind. after my comments complaining about the wrongs of this season's formula 1 qualifying, they are answering my doubts with new proposals of the qualifying format for 2006. this ought to be good:

proposal 1:
  • 60-minute session, split into two 25-minute ‘halves’ with a 10-minute break.

  • drivers may run as many laps as they wish, but must set a time in each half.

  • each driver’s best times from the first half is added to his best time from the second half to produce a final time to determine the grid.

  • no fuel restrictions - cars may refuel during and after the session.

proposal 2:
  • 60-minute session.

  • after 15 minutes, the five slowest cars must retire from the session and will qualify 16th to 20th on the grid.

  • after a further 15 minutes, the five cars slowest during that period (times cannot be carried over from the first 15 minutes) must also retire from the session. They will qualify 11th to 15th on the grid.

  • for the final 30 minutes the remaining 10 cars will compete for first to tenth place on the grid, based on the best times set in that period (times cannot be carried over from the first 30 minutes).

  • drivers may run as many laps as they wish in each period.

  • no fuel restrictions - cars may refuel during and after the session.

here are some great points with the proposed qualifying formats. firstly, there are no fuel restrictions. thus all cars will run on light fuel loads, and we will know how well the cars really perform. next, it is the unlimited laps the cars can do. this means the cars will probably take more risk to drive as fast as they could, because if they make any mistake, they can come back out again. finally, fans have a say in choosing which proposal. do so at

another point is, the formats will make it possible for the cars to run for the whole one hour period. it wouldn't be like before, where the first half of the hour the track would remain empty. in my opinion, this is a good move.

personally, i will pick proposal 1. as exciting as proposal 2 sounds, it seems to be more chaotic. 15 minutes for all 20 cars to come out seems a little dangerous and crazy. sure, the faster cars can just come out and do one lap to make sure they stay within the first 15 spots. then just wait till the second next session and do one lap to be at the first 10 spots. so i don't see how exciting it will turn out to be in the end.

plus, there's still the problem of penalizing your qualifying session if for some reason the car is not ready. for example, if the car cannot make it out in the first 15 minutes, maybe due to a mechanical glitch, then automatically you're penalized to be at the tail end of the grid.

thus proposal 1 seems more reasonable. albeit maybe not as exciting, it seems to be a rather fair qualifying format. you have free laps for two 25 minute sessions, it seems to be good enough to go as fast as they could. that, at least, is the true meaning of qualifying. however, there's still this aggregate thing that most people don't seem to like, but it is necessary to make sure all cars come out the first half hour. i'm not sure how that will work out with the public.

whichever one they chose, 2006 will definitely have a better qualifying session than what we have this year. something to look forward to.

previous posts:
silverstone: renault vs mclaren
magny-cours: absolute beauty
indianapolis: michelin farce
indianapolis: indianapolis motor speedway
montreal: post-montreal notes
montreal: canadian gp preview
montreal: lopsided mirrors?
nurburgring: ferrari to make or break
monaco: f1 and star wars don't mix
barcelona: the era is all over
imola: from zero to hero
imola: f1 aero upgrades
bahrain: what a joke
sepang: bring out the new car!!
sepang: toyota f1 rev party
sepang: klcc sauber f1 street demo
melbourne: the wait is over!
pre-season: the viking
pre-season: nose job
pre-season: b.a.r. unveiled a goose
pre-season: sweet sauber
pre-season: evolution not revolution
pre-season: sauber ain't coming

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