Despite teams’, drivers’, and technical concerns about Formula One adopting a more complicated elimination-based qualifying system, the World Motor Sport Council approved the full original plan adopt the new system at the first race of the season.
A compromise between the new and old systems was rumored earlier this week where the third session wouldn’t eliminate any cars, however, that won’t be happening, either. That’s good insofar as the 2016 season will have one qualifying format and won’t switch it up randomly mid-season, but bad because valid concerns about the watchability and viability of the new format seem to be going unheard.
One of those concerns may no longer be an issue, however. Autosport reports that Formula One Management (the group that handles F1's timing systems) has informed F1 head Bernie Ecclestone that they will be able to have the technical issues sorted by the Australian Grand Prix in two weeks.
What’s with the “probably,” then? According to F1 journalist Will Buxton, the WMSC has sent the elimination qualifying plan back to the F1 Commission and the Strategy Group for approval on the wording. The precise wording isn’t apparently as set in stone as you’d hope for an approved change to qualifying.
Along with the garbage changes to qualifying, Formula One notes that the WMSC also approved the 2017 bodywork regulations, and extended the deadline for the finalization of the 2017 Sporting and Technical Regulations until the end of April. Fortunately, WMSC statement quoted by Autosport says that they’re focusing on all the right things for the health of the series: “supply cost, obligation to supply, performance convergence, and further improvement of noise.”
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