F1 qualifying for DTM

Formula One’s new qualifying system has inspired a similar approach in the popular German Touring Car Championship (DTM). But the German series’ approach will not feature the unpopular fifteen minutes of fuel-burning seen in the F1 model:

  • Session 1: 20 cars on track for 14 minutes. Top 14 proceed.
  • Seven-minute break.
  • Session 2: 14 cars on track for 10 minutes. Top 8 proceed.
  • Seven-minute break.
  • Session 3: 8 cars on track for 7 minutes.

Mika Hakkinen, Mercedes, DTM, 2005The DTM drivers do not have to qualify with race fuel levels on board at any stage. Hopefully if their approach proves popular the refinement might be adopted in Formula One where it could make a crucial difference.

The series officially kicked off this weekend with a street demonstration in Dusseldorf, but the first race meeting is in Hockenheim in two weeks’ time. Ex-Formula One drivers Mika Hakkinen (pictured, in 2005), Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Jean Alesi are among the competitors. Reigning champion Gary Paffett departed the series to become McLaren’s test driver.

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