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F1 to ramp up 'knockout' qualifying for 2016


Formula 1 News - February, 2016

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Feb.24 (GMM) F1 looks set for a radical shakeup to its qualifying format, according to widespread reports in the specialist press.

The news, yet to be announced by the governing body, follows a series of meetings that took place on Tuesday in Geneva.

The meetings of the Strategy Group and F1 Commission had been billed as the last chance for F1 to agree sweeping changes to the technical regulations for 2017.

But the deadline for consensus, initially set to expire in just a few days, was instead simply delayed for another month.

Germany's Auto Bild, however, reported that the radical car blueprint for 2017 as devised by Red Bull, with a five second per lap boost and 50 per cent more downforce, "was rejected".

"The McLaren idea, with 30 per cent more downforce as a compromise, seems the most probable now," the report said.

FIA president Jean Todt is said to have described the meeting as having gone "quite well", amid reports the 2017 cars will now be only three seconds per lap quicker.

Todt also responded to Ecclestone's latest comments, in which the F1 supremo suggested the Frenchman should join him in simply forcing through change.

"I am not the dictator," he is quoted by the Guardian.

"A dictator could not work within our system of governance. I would end up being a murdered dictator, as can happen with dictators," Todt added.

So the biggest news from Tuesday's meetings, reportedly championed hard by Bernie Ecclestone, is a tweak to qualifying, based on the current three-phase 'knockout' format.

Citing sources, the Daily Mirror explained that "the slowest driver would be ejected every 90 seconds", with the change set to be rubber-stamped in the coming days.

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