The inspiration for F1's proposed qualifying shake-up

The inspiration for F1's proposed qualifying shake-up

F1's proposal to add a fourth part of qualifying hasn't received universal approval. But while some are wary of a repeat of the disastrous, short-lived elimination format of 2016, the plan isn't a knee-jerk reaction, but instead one based on solid research

The debate over a possible switch to a four-part Formula 1 qualifying system for 2020 represents something of a test case as the championship heads towards potentially much bigger format changes for '21 and beyond.

This time last year we had an example on the technical regulations side. After an Australian Grand Prix that featured little overtaking, an initiative started by Jean Todt to help the cars follow more easily was discussed by the FIA, F1 and the teams, and aero changes were eventually pushed through. The consensus was it was better to try something new now rather than wait for wholesale changes a couple of years down the line.

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