FIA tweaks 2006 Formula 1 Qualifying Rules, Adds Complexity.

February 19, 2006

The FIA has decided that the new Formula 1 qualifying rules for the 2006 season are not yet complicated enough, and compensated by adding yet another rule for the Saturday qualifying session.

For those not in the know (I am assuming that’s most of my readers?), for the 2006 season, the FIA has scrapped the existing 1 lap shootout format and replaced it with a series of three mini-qualifying sessions that knock out drivers as they progress. Here’s the condensed version.

If you didn’t think this was complicated enough, you need to watch out for the following extra conditions.

This was the current state of the 2006 season qualifying rules, until today.

There was concern that the fuel credit system could be used as a loophole, with drivers in the final session doing very slow laps (mainly laps in and out from the pits) in order to conserve fuel, and hence start the race on a higher fuel level than they did the final qualifying session. In steps the FIA to complicate things further. We can add the following extra condition

I personally don’t understand what was wrong with the shootout format. It was simple for the viewer to figure out, and still enjoyable to watch. I don’t really understand what was wrong with the old qualifying format, 1 hour, all cars on low fuel fighting it out for the fastest time in both a Friday and Saturday session. But thats just me, I guess. Does anyone else think this years qualifying format is a bit silly? If a qualifying format can’t be be described in a few sentences, is it too complicated?

I can’t see it drawing more people to the sport we love.

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