Which qualifying system is best? (Poll)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

The unloved aggregate qualifying system was last used at Monaco in 2005
The unloved aggregate qualifying system was last used at Monaco in 2005

F1 has introduced a new qualifying system at least once per season since 2003.

Although the current qualifying system is quite popular the Formula One Teams’ Association is discussing more changes today.

Is their proposal any better than the ones that have gone before? Do we really need another qualifying system? Vote below.

Here’s a brief summary of the qualifying systems used by Formula 1 over the last two decades:

Pre-1996

Two sessions, one on Friday and one on Saturday. No fuel restrictions, fastest time sets the grid order.

Pros: ‘Proper’ qualifying with no fuel restrictions.
Cons: Little action in wet sessions, poor timing for television.

1996-2002

A single, one-hour session on Saturdays in which drivers have a maximum of 12 laps to set their best time.

Pros: ‘Proper’ qualifying with no fuel restrictions, better suited to television.
Cons: Often long periods of no cars going on track, smaller teams generally ignored by television directors and sometimes the pole position lap would be missed by the cameras.

2003

Two sessions: low-fuel running on Fridays (which determines running order for Saturday and is essentially meaningless), race fuel on Saturdays, one lap per drive. Making drivers qualify with their race fuel loads is an innovation aimed at making races less predictable.

Pros: Every driver’s lap is seen by the cameras.
Cons: Race fuel load determines qualifying position, making qualifying less meaningful and less exciting.

2004

The two sessions seen in 2003 are both run on Saturdays.

Pros: Every driver’s lap is seen by the cameras, but most broadcasters only show the second session live.
Cons: Some drivers deliberately spin or drive slowly in first session to gain preferred slot for second session, and race fuel load still determines qualifying position.

2005

Low-fuel qualifying on Saturday, race-fuel qualifying on Sunday morning, with both lap times added together to give overall aggregate position.

Pros: None apparent.
Cons: Dreadfully unpopular – delays formation of grid, Saturdays lack any excitement as they do not decide the final running order, and race fuel load still plays a large role in deciding the grid. Dropped after six races.

2005 (take 2)

Single race-fuel qualifying lap on Saturday set in order of finishing position in final race.

Pros: An improvement over the previous version (but pulling numbers out of a hat would have been)
Cons: Race fuel load still strongly influences qualifying position, and drivers who retire early in one race find themselves seriously disadvantaged in qualifying for the next.

2006-2007

The first version of the present three-part system is introduced. Drivers in Q3 must start the race with the fuel load they qualify with. They also receive a set quantity of fuel back per lap done in Q3 providing it is within a certain percentage of the pole position lap time.

Pros: Knockout system adds excitement and variety.
Cons: Race fuel load determines qualifying position for the top ten. Fuel credit system is very complicated. Drivers in Q3 spend many laps purposefully ‘burning fuel’ which, as well as sending out a poor environmental message, looks ridiculous.

2008

As 2006-2007 but drivers are no longer allowed to add fuel after Q3, solving the ‘fuel burn’ problem.

Pros: First two parts of qualifying remain exciting.
Cons: The final part of qualifying becomes more about who’s carrying the most fuel than who’s on pole.

FOTA’s 2009 proposal

Every car goes out on track and are eliminated in turn with the slowest driver on each lap being knocked out. The final runners then enter a fastest lap shoot-out to decide the pole sitter, while carrying their race fuel loads.

Pros: It’s not been tried yet so it could be a better idea than it sounds.
Cons: This is a fundamental change in the principle of qualifying: it no longer becomes about doing one great, fast lap, it becomes about avoiding doing a slow lap, which seems a less entertaining prospect. There is massive potential for complaints about drivers blocking each other. And race fuel loads would still determine qualifying positions for the top drivers.

Which is the best qualifying system?

Which is the best qualifying system?

  • Pre-1996 - Friday and Saturday sessions (7%)
  • 1996-2002 - Single Saturday session, 12 laps (37%)
  • 2003 - Friday and Saturday sessions with race fuel (1%)
  • 2004 - Double Saturday sessions with race fuel (0%)
  • 2005 - Saturday and Sunday aggregate qualifying with race fuel (0%)
  • 2005 (take 2) - Single lap with race fuel (3%)
  • 2006-2007 - Three-round qualifying with race fuel and fuel burn (1%)
  • 2008 - Three-round qualifying with race fuel (no fuel burn) (41%)
  • 2009 - FOTA 'knockout' proposal (9%)

Total Voters: 422

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How did I vote?

The more I think about it, the more I dislike FOTA’s proposal. It’s not as bad as the aggregate qualifying nonsense of 2005, but it’s not far off. Above all, it’s change for change’s sake with no clear rationale behind it.

I think the present system is basically fine, although having the top drivers qualify with their race fuel loads is a fundamental flaw. Race fuel qualifying was introduced in 2003 in the hope it would lead to varied strategies and unpredictable racing, but it has totally failed to achieve this.

One-lap qualifying systems are good in principle for TV but suffer two weaknesses: varying weather conditions during a session can spoil them, and it’s difficult to arrive at a fair system for deciding what order drivers should qualify in.

I prefer the 12-lap system because it is proper qualifying: the fastest driver on a light tank of fuel gets the best starting position.

It did have the problem that some drivers would not go on track in the first half-hour: that could very easily be solved by spitting the session into four quarters and requiring each driver to set a time in each part. A1 Grand Prix does the same, and it has the added bonus of factoring in time for television channels to screen advertising breaks.

I think that’s a much more simple, sensible and potentially exciting solution than the mess FOTA has come up with. Which solution do you prefer?

Read more: F1 gets 8th qualifying change since 2003

48 comments on “Which qualifying system is best? (Poll)”

  1. Jonesracing82
    4th December 2008, 6:20

    i voited the old 12 lap/1 hour system! as the fastest car and driver on that day has pole!
    cannot b easier to understand!
    yer, occasionally no cars would go out at start of seassion but that levels out with most cars on track late in the session on a do or die lap!
    current system is ok bar q3 with fuel!
    isnt quali meant to be about who is fastest………..?

    1. Definately the 12 lap system. This was my fav all along. It is simple and easy. Although I am sure FOTA will refine their idea and it will be used. Either way I am just glad fuel will not play a part.

  2. 1996-2002 for me, although I do think the current system would be almost as good if they just scrap the race-fuel aspect altogether.

  3. I like the current system very much, but the issue of race fuel should be changed. I can see some merit in what Heikki is saying about McLaren’s fuel plans for each race this season and how they seemingly forced him into a No. 2 role as a result.

    Aside from that, I have always wondered what is displayed on those TV screens the drivers have in front of them while they are in the garage, as Alonso has in this picture at the top of the article- can anyone give me some insight on that?

  4. It’s largely the same FOM feed that we see. They can also look at the live timing and scoring screen – the same one that’s available for us.

  5. -edit-

    Paul beat me to it, lol.

  6. I like the 2008 system. 1996-2002 would severely disadvantage smaller teams.

  7. I think we are having this discussion only because Bernie Ecclestone decided he could earn more advertising revenue from broadcasting qualifying, when in fact the purpose of qualifying is simply to line up the cars in a reasonable manner for the race start. The best method is to give everybody as much time as possible, so drivers can try again and again. The hot laps should represent the absolute limits of each car. It would also eliminate excuses for not getting a clear track. Sure, it’s bad for live television, but what’s wrong with making it a highlights show if you want it televised at all?

  8. OK. I’m old school and prefered the ‘one strike and you are out’ system of 2005, no matter what the weather conditions are – if you are a good enough driver, no matter what car you are in, you will get the fastest lap. But make it with Qualifying fuel only, and the cars can be seen at their full potential. The drivers must be allowed a Qualifying set up if required, different to their Racing set up. Qualifying in the reverse order of the finish of the last race.
    That means all the cars are seen, all the cars go fast and all the drivers have an equal chance – the better the driver the better the result.
    This might lead to drivers becoming Qualifying specialists, but then it would be up to the team to help them hold position against the ‘Racers’ on Sunday.

    1. I’ve never agreed to having more than one car on the circuit at a time. One lap,and any amount of fuel.Go for broke.ala 2005

  9. I think one of the advantages of the current knockout system is that during Q1, position 15 is something worth fighting for. The same concept applies for Q2. It gives the smaller teams a bit more coverage, and dividing qualifying into three different parts gives the session a level of interest throughout most of the hour. I don’t think you’re ever going to find a qualifying system that suits everyone, but the one they have now might be as close as they’re going to get. Why bother changing it?

  10. DG, that is exactly how I would have qualifying.

  11. Amazing isn’t it, six formats, one proposal and six years on, and we still prefer the old one hour, 12 lap system.

    I didn’t even mind that sometimes the first half could be pretty quiet, because it often meant twice the action in the second half. Knock-out qualifying has had some great climaxes to the session, but they were frequently more exciting with the 96-02 system.

  12. None of the options are the best alternative. We should have a 1-hour qualifying session without restrictions to the engines, tyres and laps and without the post-qualifying parc fermé.

  13. Current system is fine, as Keith states eliminate the race fuel proviso and let them go as light as possible in Q3, adding fuel to suit their race strategies.

    That satisfies fastest car on pole concerns as well as a “Show” for media.

  14. I had to confess to quite liking the one lap, single car system – you get to see every lap, each driver gets one shot, do or die. There was also no wait for the on track action to start and it negated any problems with traffic.

    It did have its downsides, of course. Qualifying with race fuel often meant unusual grids and you didn’t get to see the cars at the very limit of their performance. There were also sessions that were disrupted by rain or improving/deteriorating conditions, which skewed things somewhat (although that sometimes happened with the pre-2003 systems).

    For me, its main advantage was attention focussed on each car being driven in anger over a single lap. You got to see who’d made a mistake, which cars looked like a handful, who’d made an amazing save, who’d not. It’s arguably less “pure” than a free sixty minute session but probably more fulfilling for the casual spectator with some added appeal for the dedicated fan.

    I’m not convinced that FOTA’s proposed new system will be a change for the better. It’s enormously complicated, could be very difficult to follow (on TV and in the flesh) and will lead to drivers being blocked by slower cars (and a resulting mini-industry of penalties). It could reward drivers who are consistent rather than out and out quick over a single lap – Jarno Trulli must be very nervous.

  15. It’s not as bad as the aggregate qualifying nonsense of 2005, but it’s not far off.

    I think it’s far worse. It seems like something they stole off of NASCAR. In fact, it’s hard to think of a worse qualifying system that doesn’t involve picking numbers out of a hat.

  16. I think the current qualifying format is fine, but they should advertise fuel loads prior to going into Q3. Speculating about fuel loads is boring. Being able to appreciate a good qualifying run at given fuel load would be great.

  17. You needed to add an option on the poll for the 2008 with the every popular proposal of removing racing fuel from Q3. In my opinion it’s the only change that needs to be made and is the most exciting and entertaining way to do qualifying out of all the options.

  18. I never understood what was wrong with the old pre-1996 system, or the 1996-2002 system, other than that pole-winning laps would sometimes not be on the screen. If the latter is the major criterium, I’d vote for either the 2003 single lap qualifying, though without race fuel, or the current system, also without race fuel.

  19. Current system with low fuel in Q3 would be my choice. No it’s not ideal, but then I don’t think any system would be short of letting each car do 4 runs with the whole track to themselves. Let’s see 20 cars, 4 runs = 12 laps, let’s take an average laptime of 1:20 = 80 seconds, so we have 80x12x20 = 19,200 seconds or 5 hours 20 minutes!

    5 hours 20 minutes, what’s wrong with that??

  20. The present qualifying system is best , only thing I would change is the elimination of race fuel rule in Q3. I guess it’s there only to create a feeling of anticipation on race day , as to who is running light etc. but as we have seen , most the front runners end up on very similar strategy , which is the optimal one , not to mention the biggest plus would be that the fight for pole would be a true reflection of the fastest car/driver combination.
    And with the cars now being so closely matched , they usually pit within one lap of each other anyway.
    Losing the race fuel rule would also add extra excitement because some cars that are very fast on low fuel , behave very differently when fuelled heavier.

  21. I voted for the current 3-round system, although the one thing I would like to see, along with other people, is getting rid of the race-fuel load.
    This would ensure that the fastest driver was always on pole regardless of fuel level.
    The new proposal seems way too complicated to follow and understand. How everyone will follow it all, I really don’t know.

  22. Most people here and myself seem to agree the current system here is the best, splitting the hour into 4 is a good idea. If the current proposal goes through, yes drivers may get blocked but conversely couldnt they slipstream and overtake a car not on a hotlap? Therefore gaining a faster laptime? No doubt theres an FIA ruling banning slipstreamin during qualiying….

  23. i’m not getting the proposed new system…besides the fact that there would be blocking aplenty, is it meant to be run out lap, flying lap [1], in lap, out lap, flying lap [2], in lap…

    or do they just run a constant session? this seems like it could get really confusing if people get lapped, cars are all over the place, what if two people retire in a collision?…

    on the plus side, they could make blocking legal and add a whole new dimension to things. “alonso blocks hamilton, kimi blocks massa, while the relatively not-unpopular buemi steals pole for toro rosso!!!” lol :D

    i don’t think an aggregate system was completely unworkable. how about one session on light fuel, one on race fuel (both run on saturday). the aggregate is taken, but the light fuel run is weighted to be more important (say twice as much)?

    ie:

    Glock, Interlagos Qualifying

    session one (light fuel): 1:09:660
    session two (race fuel): 1:11:031

    aggregate time (non-weighted): 1:10:346
    aggregate time (weighted, light fuelx2): 1:10:117

    Trulli, Interlagos Qualifying

    session one (light fuel): 1:09:525
    session two (race fuel): 1:11:185

    aggregate time (non-weighted): 1:10:355
    aggregate time (weighted, light fuelx2): 1:10:078

    … =S … designing qualifying sessions is hard, no wonder they can never get it right!

  24. I actually want

    2009 – Three-round qualifying with QUALI fuel (no fuel burn)

  25. I am with Tim, re. the 2005 (take 2) Quali format. I liked being able to follow each driver while they set their lap and the buildup of tension towards the end was fantastic as you waited to see whether the current driver could pip a rival’s time.

    I also think that it’s intriguing to make the drivers set their lap on race fuel, as it casts an element of doubt over the strategy for the following day, rather than knowing that the grid order would be the finishing order.

    The only problem with 2005 take 2 was that it wasn’t much fun watching the smaller teams set their laps, which is why I’d like to see a combination of the 2008 Q1 and Q2 knockout sessions, but with Q3 being the 2005 take 2 format – the order in which they go out in Q3 being determined by the Q2 times. This would allow us to watch the smaller teams fight not to be knocked out of Q1 and Q2 and give the faster teams an incentive to set a time in Q2, as it would be in their interests to be fastest on low fuel when they go out on Race Fuel for the final shoot-out in Q3.

  26. I voted for the 1996-2002 system – but the best system would be the current knockout qualifying if they just got rid of the race fuel in Q3.

  27. I’m really astounded that people are speaking up for the 2005 system, it just beggars belief. It was so awful, so unfair and so ridiculous, this is supposed to be a sport you know.

    DG

    OK. I’m old school and prefered the ‘one strike and you are out’ system of 2005, no matter what the weather conditions are – if you are a good enough driver, no matter what car you are in, you will get the fastest lap.

    OLD SCHOOL!!! Your kidding me right, dude old school is 1965 not 2005. I hope you can see the ridiculousness of of your comment, at no point in either of the 2005 options does the fastest driver end up on pole because of the effect of fuel and changing track conditions. Your statement is just wrong. A driver qualifying in the poring rain will never be able to beat one who qualified in the dry no matter who they are.

    People who are speaking up for this system don’t seem to realize the disadvantage of a green track and how someone who starts first in quali will never be able to get pole unless it rains.

    It’s unbelievable. This is why F1 is in the mess it’s in. All of the post 2002 formats make a mockery of the sport and of great drivers like Ayton Senna. If you ever witnessed Senna qualifying live then you would never never want to see qualifying any other way because it was a spectacle, a zenith, an art. There was no need to fix something that wasn’t broken, it’s only got worse and it will only get worse until they bring back the old format.

  28. Now I think F1 lacks Heritage and Tradition with such frequent changes in the fundamentals of the sport…..

  29. I voted 96-02, but the best possible solution would be the current one without the “fuel in Q3” rule.

  30. Anything with the word ‘aggregate’ is automatically off my list as it just confuses the issue.

    I plumped for qualifying circa ’96-’02. 1 hour, 12 laps each… go go go. I never really minded the empty first 40 minutes, as the last 20 were always brimming with action and excitement.

    One way to adjust that would be to say drivers must use 3 laps every 15 minutes, but I guess once again, that just adds further scope for rule bending grey areas and squabbling.

  31. I see I have some support here for 2005-2 system. Best part of that system was every driver got good coverage. The nerves of driver were tested (does anyone remember Kimi Raikkonen’s Brazil’05 lap? he was informed of Alonso’s provisional pole, jangled nerves, slight twich and he qualified 5th)
    Of course the back of the grid team had a handicap in that system, as their sole purpose was to go out early on the track to rubber the track for front runners.

    But the current system has serious traffic issues, and teams not able to get their drivers in right slots on the track are seriously handicapped. I remember when the system was launched in 2006, McLaren never got their sequencing right and messed up qualifying. Then there are famous “blocked by traffic” excuses and allegations (and ofcourse resulting dodgy penalties)

    The A1GP qualifying format which is close to current F1 format, is pretty exciting,I have seen amazing qualifying sessions in A1GP. but given that the F1 cars are not “identical” unlike A1GP cars, one can never know how F1 cars/drivers will fare in that format. Of course one can safely say that back of the grid cars will still struggle whichever format we have

  32. why not just let the drivers do one lap each? so it enforces the FAST LAP mentality.

    and if thats not a good idea then you can call me retard mcspacky pants

    oh and I voted for 1996 to 2002.

    another point regarding the current quali sessions, alot of my friends watch the quali on saturdays, but not the race on sundays…. it tells you alot about the state of a sport when people find the qualification more interesting then the main event.

  33. Seriously,, it’s qualifying, (cue Allen Iverson “We’re talking about Practice!)

    Qualifying is designed to seed drivers fastest to promote safety in the race, and to have the drivers earn their position on the grid.

    If the FIA and the cock-a-doodle-doo squad want to continue to limit the silliness of motors, (ie one motor must last 2-3 races, while standing on your head and patting your chest), then why not bring back flexibility in fueling.

    Also, with the advent of KERS (and hoping that teams can finish them and get them working on time) 1 lap of racing will be very different. A build up of “KERS-power” (we seriously need a name for KERS energy based loading) qualifying will have 1 odd spot in each lap where additional power will be applied (since apparently it just gets all let out in one place).

    Furthermore, as the “one car on screen” system seems to be effective, let em run any fuel load they choose.

    Everybody gets 2 laps, best lap is your qualifying position. It is qualifying, whoever puts it out there the farthest on the edge without going over should win it. That’s the point. When you let blocking/fuel burning/fuel loads come into it, it’s really taking the game out of the hands of the man in the driver’s seat. 2 laps each, should do it just fine, then you have shared out and in-laps and each car can be then race fueled, fuel load should be decided for the race, not qualifying (so ridiculous). These are multimillion dollar cars that can’t adjust their tanks? It’s ludicrous.

    They go out in reverse order from the previous race (or on points) slowest/lowest points go first, or else reverse the order so the track comes to the last runners, making it hard on the first fast guys and thus bringing the field slightly more level (or penalizing the faster group)

    In conclusion
    2 laps, everyone is on tv (sorry, you do have to watch a force india qualify, but Varsha or Eddie will be talking the whole time by then). Fastest to slowest (though slowest to fastest would keep you riveted till the end).
    Any fuel load.
    Oh yeah,, and fastest lap gets a point, it’s worth a point, and would surely make a championship change a bit as well (wouldn’t Senna then have had more?)

  34. The only problem with 2005 take 2 was that it wasn’t much fun watching the smaller teams set their laps, which is why I’d like to see a combination of the 2008 Q1 and Q2 knockout sessions, but with Q3 being the 2005 take 2 format – the order in which they go out in Q3 being determined by the Q2 times. This would allow us to watch the smaller teams fight not to be knocked out of Q1 and Q2 and give the faster teams an incentive to set a time in Q2, as it would be in their interests to be fastest on low fuel when they go out on Race Fuel for the final shoot-out in Q3.

    I quite like that idea, but drop the race fuel in Q3.

    I’ve voted for the current system (but again, drop the race fuel in Q3). Apart from traffic it’s a fair system which is also exciting. And if there was no race fuel it would almost always be the fastest driver who was on pole.

    Oh and to Fred, no way should pole get a point. Yeah they deserve it but I wouldn’t want to see a championship decided on Saturday. Which would inevitably happen.

  35. OLD SCHOOL!!! Your kidding me right, dude old school is 1965 not 2005

    considering the speed of development in every aspect of F1 then 2005 is old school. but i’m just picking.

    A driver qualifying in the poring rain will never be able to beat one who qualified in the dry no matter who they are.

    tough doo doo, if a back marker is lucky enough to get pole by virtue of being on dry track then good luck to him, F1 spends far too much on mathematicians to work out the best strategy it would probably do it good to fire such accountants, economic crisis and all.

    and stop whinging about people speaking up about the 2005 quali system, it is there opinion and your not gonna change it by shouting over the internet much like they aren’t gonna change your opinion.

    thoroughly enjoyed reading your comment though K, full of passion, and fire… and the fury of caps lock as well.

  36. The current system without race fuels would do it for me!

  37. I prefer the 1996-2002 qualifying.

    It’s all about who sets the fastest lap in 12laps. Whole point of qualifying is to see who is the fastest. Current system sucks because Q3 is always the fastest cars in the top 5 and the slower cars in the bottom 5.

  38. I went for the current system although it was a hard choice between that and the 96-02 system.

    Overall it got my vote because it gives you a full hour of qualifying action, there’s something to fight for in each session & the top 10 shoot out at the end means the faster guys aren’t tripping over the backmarkers while trying to set a fastest lap for Pole.

    Ideally I’d like the current format but with low fuel for Q3.

    I’m with K, the 2005 system was terrible, it gave such a distorted result and very rarely did the fastest driver get the fastest lap.
    The only good thing about it was that you got to see each drivers entire qualifying lap so the smaller teams got lots of exposure, other than that it sucked.

  39. I voted for another system in which the drivers of both cars of the one remaining Formula One team still competing rearrange some deckchairs, while Bernie’s ex-wife times them.

  40. Sush

    I NEVER USE CAPS LOCK, I have a little finger of steel and I put it to good use on my Shift key ;)

    I shall defend my right to whinge as much as I defend your right to whinge about me whinging :P Anyway if the internet is for one thing (other than porn) it’s whinging surely.

    considering the speed of development in every aspect of F1 then 2005 is old school

    Well maybe we’ll agree to differ but I’d say old school would be before the onset of aerodynamics, when people started putting wings on cars there was no going back.

    if a back marker is lucky enough to get pole by virtue of being on dry track then good luck to him

    In that case you might as well just draw names out of a hat or better yet make team principles fist fight each other for grid slots (now that I would like to see. Maybe each race you could have a different tier of personnel fight each other to decide poll; one race it might be chief mechanics the next grid girls etc).

    I remember in the old 96-02 system you regularly got the back marker teams coming out early to give their drivers some time on a clear track and to get TV coverage, sometimes the weather would change and you would have “lesser” cars qualifying higher up the order. The top teams had the chance to post laps but sometimes they cocked it up and they paid the price.

    Most of the time you’d have little or no action for 20 or 30 minutes so you’d listen to Murray Walker spinning his yarn about the upcoming session and race, recalling stats and facts, questioning strategies. Gradually the action would pick up, the first car would come out, the pitch in Murray’s voice would rise, the excitement would build, team bosses would be sitting at the pit wall anxiously looking at their watches, with each passing minute a faster car would exit the pit and take to the track, drivers were getting ready in their cars visualizing their lap, some were not even in the cockpit yet, teams would suddenly spring into life as the lap times fell and throw their charge into the fray, the action would become more frenetic, cars coming in, cars going out, cars on hot laps, then finally the main protagonists would rip off the tire warmers, the car would burst out of the garage, for a minute and a half the driver would unleash the full and unforgiving power under his right foot and draw a new line in the sand. From then on it was blow and counter blow, each driver refining his set up for the next blast until it all came to a mighty crescendo in the last minute. Everyone car would be on track, some were to early, some would find themselves bogged down in the traffic. Finding a clear piece of track used to be skill, Senna was a master, unseen to the cameras he would cross the start finish line just seconds before the time ran out, “We haven’t seen Senna cross the line” Murray would cry and then the first sector time would flash up, fastest by a hundredth, as each car before him crossed the line it would become clear that there was only one man out there capable of challenging for the pole, Senna I want to see Senna, and then at the death, on a ribbon of concrete where only moments ago 21 drivers had been fighting tooth and nail for 20 yards of clear track, running on fumes, all alone in the heat haze at the edge of adhesion was Senna on the ragged edge……. pole by two tenths… incredible! I wasn’t even a Senna fan! But it was incredible.

    You might argue that 1 lap qualifying enforces the fast lap mentality but under the old system if you weren’t gonna go out there and give it 110% on your hot lap then there was no point in leaving the garage. Since 2002 you haven’t seen a car move like that, you haven’t seen a driver really hang it out, really go out there guns blazing and stick it on pole. Saturdays have never been the same since.

  41. isn’t it a good idea to take the old A1gp system but than take the fastest and the slowest ones. put them together and de fastest at that moment has pole?

  42. I like many enjoy the 08 system because drivers still are doing their absolute best for a time with what they are stuck with. But I too don’t like the Q3 fuel. I hate it that P7-P10 have generally gone heavy in Q3 anyway for fear of what they know P11-P14 will do.

    Discouraging going flat out for fear of driver mistakes in 09 is not cool.

    My suggestion is that the 08 system is reinstated with modifications.

    1. Q3 opening fuel choice remains
    2. Q3 is extended for 5 extra minutes
    3. Each Q3 team can top up the fuel at the end for each lap run in Q3, they should get 1.something laps worth of fuel for every lap they do in Q3.

    This doesn’t take the fuel issue away at all but it mixes it up a little and extra stress on a 3 race motor gets worked in as an issue versus running lots of Q3 laps to get more fuel back but still having to drive flat out with whatever load you have on board right at the end.

  43. Jose Arellano
    26th June 2009, 17:40

    the current system BUT q3 should be mande with qualy fuel load!.

    also would be cool if in q3 a driver just get 2 laps on his own at the track…

  44. I like the system they use in the v8 supercars with the top 10 knock out, if anyone else has seen it, it’s not to bad

    1. That has the same disadvantages of changing weather and track conditions. V8 Supercars have done a lot of weird things that F1 should stay away from eg reverse grid races

  45. With the race fuel Q3 system it was all about advertising for ‘greedy’ Bernie Eccleston and others. The Parc Ferme (Race-like) celebrations after only the qualifying sessions gives sponsership exposure time for teams of the three drivers that have put in light fuel at the expense of race day. Race fuel qualifying is extremely boring and patronising to the fans and broadcasters. The 2010 qualifying (No refuelling) system is much better but we have the same problem because the Q3 tyres must be used in the start of each race. Teams will not want to ruin their tyres for the start of the race by pushing for pole, however this may be solved and is not as bad as the previous ‘race fuel’ situation. The qualifying system throughout the new millenium has been terrible. The people in the FIA that make these rules must listen to the fans. Overall, the Q3 session will be much more equal for all teams becasue they have the same fuel. Ive said this in an email to the FIA

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