Qualifying disagreements again

There always seems to be an argument brewing somewhere, whether it be fractious drivers squabbling about on-track shenanigans, the endless complaints about backmarkers or the qualifying format. Qualifying is back in the spotlight as allegedly ...

There always seems to be an argument brewing somewhere, whether it be fractious drivers squabbling about on-track shenanigans, the endless complaints about backmarkers or the qualifying format. Qualifying is back in the spotlight as allegedly McLaren boss Ron Dennis has taken exception to Renault counterpart Flavio Briatore.

Recently the team bosses signed an agreement to keep the current qualifying system of a one hour session of a single flying lap per driver. However, Briatore has now reportedly withdrawn his signature in favour of a knock-out format supported by the FIA, and Dennis is not amused.

"There is not enough justification for change," Dennis said, according to the UK's Independent newspaper. "We all signed in Brazil to keep qualifying the same, and then one individual said that his signature was no longer valid."

The system the FIA would like to see is an hour session starting with all 20 cars on track and supposedly no tyre or fuel restrictions. Then the slowest five would be knocked out at 15 minute intervals until the final five fought it out, fully fuelled for the race.

How that would be fair is not exactly clear -- if the whole pack started with no tyre or fuel restrictions, surely the top five would be compromised by running their last fliers with a full load on board? Or is it just to make them slower?

Dennis has previously said that qualifying should not be changed as the current format has provided some exciting races. We certainly had an exciting race in Japan but the usual front-runners being at the back was more to do with the rain in qualifying rather than the format.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Flavio Briatore
Teams McLaren