Formula 1’s move to a new knockout qualifying system has proven a polarising one within the sport ahead of its debut at this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix.
Formally ratified by the FIA just a fortnight before the season opener, the new system sees drivers progressively eliminated throughout the three traditional qualifying segments until just two are left on track to battle it out for pole.
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Final sign-off came after weeks of uncertainty over whether the new concept would receive the full support of the F1 Commission and FIA and if it could be physically implemented in time for Melbourne.
The likes of former world champion Alan Jones have come out in support of the concept, optimistic that it will spice up the Saturday action following recent years of Mercedes domination.
Current drivers have, however, been scathing, with Sebastian Vettel declaring that replacing the rarely criticised previous format with a knockout system is “the wrong way to go and creates chaos”.
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