Systems ready for new qualifying format
Formula 1 race director Charlie Whiting has been assured the new timing system is ready for today’s debut of the new elimination qualifying format at Albert Park.
Concerns had been raised that software for the timing system would not be ready in time for Melbourne but these fears have been allayed following a successful demonstration of the technology.
The new qualifying format will see the slowest drivers knocked out in 90 second intervals to eventually leave two to do battle for pole position.
“I have had a a demonstration of it (the timing system) and it all appears to be spot on,” said Whiting in a media briefing.
“The guys who write all the software appear to have done a fantastic job it looks good.
“There will be a separate countdown clock counting down 60 seconds to zero before each of the eliminations points.”
Changes made to qualifying have attracted criticism in the lead-up to this weekend’s first running.
Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene is not among the critics, choosing instead to judge the format once it has been showcased to the world.
However, the Maranello chief does expect the changes to produce plenty of action as drivers bid to avoid eliminations.
“I don’t want to be against any changes, Ferrari don’t want to be against the change, I simply think that maybe giving a bit more time to the team to work on ideas was better,” said Arrivabene.
“I can’t say so with a certainty. The only certainty is that at the beginning of the qualifying we are going to see a line like on Saturday at the cashier of the supermarket – everybody wants to go out.
“Then we will see. It’s not fair to criticise before that has happened.”
The new elimination qualifying will be run for the first time today at 1700 local time.