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Knockout qualifying and other fun and games

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Knockout qualifying and other fun and games
Nov 20, 2008, 7:58 PM

There has been a lot of chat this week about Bernie Ecclestone's idea of handing out gold medals to race winners and awarding the world championshi...

There has been a lot of chat this week about Bernie Ecclestone's idea of handing out gold medals to race winners and awarding the world championship to the man with the most at season's end.

This is one of a number of ideas which will be discussed at the FIA World Council meeting on December 12th. The Formula One Teams Association has been working hard on dreaming up ideas for improving the show as well and Flavio Briatore has a plan for knockout qualifying, which seems to be gathering some momentum.

The idea is simple, instead of dividing qualifying up into three sessions and guessing fuel weights at the end, all cars go out with a fixed amount of fuel and after an out-lap they start setting times, the slowest car each lap will be eliminated until only six remain, at which point they put new tyres on and fight for pole. There is talk of incentives for pole including a cash prize and a single world championship point. Ferrari favours a more conservative approach, suggesting that a return to the points system pre-2004, with points down to 6th place and only 6 points for second, will provide the same incentive to win.

The final version will be hammered out at the FOTA meeting on December 4th, in time for the World Council.

Despite putting on one of the most exciting seasons of racing in living memory, which has brought back many fans disaffected by the Schumacher dominated years in the early 2000s, F1 is seeking spectacle and entertainment and it seems prepared to go through a mini-revolution to achieve it. What do you think, how far can they go before it becomes something other than F1?
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