F1 elimination qualifying clears final hurdle

Formula 1's move to elimination qualifying has now been set in stone, after teams on Thursday unanimously approved the rule change.

Although the FIA's World Motor Sport Council had ratified the principle of the change last week, procedural matters meant the wording of the new regulations had to go back to the Strategy Group and F1 Commission for approval.

With Ferrari having expressed some concerns about the changes, there had been a chance that the Maranello outfit may have elected to hold out on giving its support.

And without the unanimous approval that is needed, because the changes are coming into force this season, that could have meant F1 being forced to stick with the old format.

However, with e-votes having gone out to teams for their views on the new regulations, it is understood that all teams - including Ferrari - accepted the change.

All that is left now is for the FIA to make a formal change to the 2016 Sporting Regulations, which will need to be done before the start of the Melbourne weekend.

It means F1 qualifying will switch to a knock-out style format for all three segments from Melbourne.

How qualifying works

Q1

-16 minutes duration;

- After 7 minutes, the slowest driver is eliminated;

- Slowest driver eliminated every 1 minute 30 seconds thereafter until the chequered flag;

- 7 drivers eliminated, 15 progress to Q2.

Q2

- 15 minutes duration;

- After 6 minutes, slowest driver eliminated;

- Slowest driver eliminated every 1 minute 30 seconds thereafter until the chequered flag;

- 7 drivers eliminated, 8 progress to Q3.

Q3

- 14 minutes;

- After 5 minutes, slowest driver eliminated;

- Slowest driver eliminated every 1 minute 30 seconds thereafter until the chequered flag;

- 2 drivers left in final 1 minute 30 seconds.

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