F1’s astonishing qualifying shake up

Formula One bosses are planning to spice up Sunday’s races by ditching qualifying and having a separate mini race to determine the grid.

The radical shake-up is set to be introduced next season as part of the new rules after getting the green light from team bosses at the Italian GP.

Ross Brawn, F1’s Managing Director of Motorsport, had been keen to liven up the weekend format, including Saturday’s qualifying session.

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“I would like to see us in 2020 try a few things. In 2020 we have a stable platform with the cars and things aren’t changing that much,” Brawn said at Monza.

Charles Leclerc after winning at Monza — qualifying might be something the youngster doesn’t deal with much longer.Source:AFP

“It could be a good opportunity at one or two races to try some variations. I don’t see any other way that we logically progress the race format.

“The basic race format is good, but would a sprint race be interesting or some variation in qualifying be interesting?

“I think the teams are up for doing some variations during a Saturday to see if we can touch on a better solution.”

Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto said that his team would support the proposed changes made by Liberty.

“We are in favour too. To be able to do it in 2020, we need the unanimity of all (the teams). It will happen, after all we have joined (our support) too.”

Looking further ahead of 2021, when Liberty’s regulation shake-up will come into force, Binotto suggested that finding common ground on the technical rules to be drafted is still to be found.

“Two concepts must be clear,” he said.

“F1 must remain a platform where technological competition exists.

“This is the only reason why Ferrari invests in it. We don’t like any attempt to make the cars all the same. Standard parts can create reliability problems, such as clutch in F2.

“It must also remain a discipline in which the best wins. Trying to mix the cards is wrong. Ours is not a show, it is a sport.

“The regulation that we will vote in October will be the starting point for continuing to discuss and improve.”

Ross Brawn has led the push for change in Formula One.Source:AFP

Racing Point team principal, Otmar Szafnauer, is also in favour of making changes to help improve the sport.

“We have got further discussions in between Monza and Singapore,” he said.

“If we are to improve the show there is nothing wrong with trying and seeing how it goes, get some fan feedback and if people like it and it improves the show, I am all for it.”


Mercedes-Benz has extended its contract with British Formula One outfit Williams until the end of 2025, the two firms announced on Friday.

Williams, who finished bottom of the championship last season after some of Force-India’s points were voided, announced poor financial results for the first quarter of 2019 on Tuesday with a drop of almost 24 per cent in turnover compared to the same period last year.

“The financial results of Formula One reflect principally our last position in the constructors’ championship last year and the reduction of bonuses linked to it,” Williams chief executive Mike O’Driscoll said.

“There was also a global reduction in revenues linked to partnerships in relation to the first quarter of 2018.”

The original deal was set to finish at the end of the current campaign. Williams are bottom of the constructors’ standings this term with their only point coming thanks to Robert Kubica’s 10th-placed finish at the British Grand Prix.

The next race of the season takes place in Singapore on Sunday September 22.

This article originally appeared in The Sun and is republished with permission.

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