sport

F1 qualifying set for overhaul

Qualifying at Formula One grands prix is set for an overhaul ahead of the new season in a bid to spice up the show.

A number of proposals have been put forward by the FIA to combat the further likelihood of the top-10 drivers opting not to venture out in the final 10-minute session for strategy reasons.

That practice became particularly prevalent last season as teams and drivers chose to conserve tyres rather than attempting to set a quick time and aim for the highest grid slot.

At present, the top-10 drivers start a race on the set of tyres on which they conclude qualifying.

That resulted in some drivers deciding against setting a time, giving them a free choice of rubber on which to line up on the grid.

The FIA is determined to stamp out such a ploy to ensure fans who pay top dollar to see a qualifying showdown are given value for money.

The main ideas that will come under consideration when the FIA meets the teams during the second test in Bahrain later this month focus on tyres.

One suggestion is the top 10 start the race on the tyres on which they ended the second qualifying segment, so giving them a free hand in Q3, whilst another is they are handed extra sets of tyres for Q3.

Also on the table is a time extension to the final session, running for 12 minutes instead of the current 10.

In a further effort to make matters more interesting and apply more pressure on the teams, there is a suggestion to cut Q1 from 20 minutes to 18.

The proposals are due to be debated on February 21, and if cleared will then go before the World Motor Sport Council at their meeting in early March in time for the season-opening grand prix in Australia on March 16.