Super Formula scraps Q3 in qualifying format shake-up

Super Formula has shaken up its qualifying format for the 2022 season, axeing Q3 in favour of a new two-stage knockout system.

Super Formula scraps Q3 in qualifying format shake-up
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Japan’s premier single-seater championship has used a Formula 1-style three-stage knockout format since the 2008 season, and while it has undergone minor adjustments over the years, this marks the most significant change since the system was first introduced.

Under the new rules, the first segment of qualifying will see the expected field of 21 cars split into two groups, as been the case since the 2020 season, with the fastest six from each seven-minute session progressing to Q2. 

A single seven-minute Q2 session will decide the top 12 grid positions in a move the series hopes will “increase the sense of urgency” of qualifying as well as reduce tyre usage.

Super Formula announced the change in a press conference in Tokyo on Monday at the same time as confirming a 2022 calendar comprising 10 races, with three of the seven planned rounds becoming double-headers.

As reported by last week, the Fuji season opener in April and the final two rounds of the season at Motegi and Suzuka will both be run using the two-race format with a race each on Saturday and Sunday.

For these events, a single 90-minute practice session will be held on Friday, with qualifying following on Saturday morning prior to the opening race. Another qualifying session will be held on Sunday morning to determine the grid for the second race.

For the remaining four rounds, the weekend format will stay the same as 2021: first practice will be held on Saturday morning prior to qualifying, with a second, 30-minute session taking place ahead of the race on Sunday morning.

The races themselves will continue to feature no refuelling and a mandatory tyre change, maintaining the not universally-popular format of the past two seasons.

Super Formula also revealed further details of its new app, ‘SFgo’, that it hopes will help to boost fan interest in the series, including features such as live on-board cameras, telemetry data and radio communications for each driver.

'The future of motorsport - recruiting development supporters'

'The future of motorsport - recruiting development supporters'

Photo by: JRP

However, for 2022, it will only be made available to 300 selected fans, who will be asked to give feedback to help improve the service ahead of a planned general release in 2023.

The service is slated to cost 490 yen (approx. $4.20) a month, and will also grant subscribers access to race highlights videos and archive footage from past seasons of Japan Top Formula racing dating back to 1972.

Additionally, live qualifying and race broadcasts are planned to be made available via the Super Formula YouTube channel for a monthly fee of just 90 yen (approx. $0.80). Further details of this are expected to be announced in March.

Revised 2022 Super Formula calendar:





Round 1-2

April 8-10

Fuji Speedway


Round 3

April 23-24

Suzuka Circuit


Round 4

May 21-22



Round 5

June 18-19

Sportsland Sugo


Round 6

July 16-17

Fuji Speedway


Round 7-8

August 19-21

Twin Ring Motegi


Round 9-10

October 28-30

Suzuka Circuit 31

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