Will more cars on the grid require changes to qualifying?

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
With the news that there may be 28 cars on the grid never mind 26, will changes to qualifying be required?

Currently the first phase of qualifying sees all cars out on the circuit trying to make it through to Q2 in a 15 minute window.
This makes for a very busy track and (unintentional) blocking and impeding has been quite a common occurrence over the last few seasons.

With an increase in the number of cars, surely something will have to change as it will be almost impossible not to get in someone's way at some of the smaller circuits.

In addition, with the aero currently as it is, getting a clean run will be very difficult as cars several hundred metres in front can have an effect (Alonso at Monza 2006).

Perhaps the FIA need to look at the current qualifying format and decide whether it suits a grid with a potential increase of 40%.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
My suggestion:

Q1 split into two pools; #1 drivers (ie. cars 1,3,5,7,9,11,14...) and #2 drivers. The #2 drivers go first and the bottom 10 across the two sessions are out.

That leaves 18 for Q2; 8 go out and 10 for Q3.

I know there'll be a problem w.r.t. how much rubber is down in Q1. Maybe we should have the bottom 5 in each session out in that case to make it fair for each driver. Please criticise and we'll come up with something!
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
As you've suggested TBY, due to changing circuit (and possibly weather) conditions, all the cars would have to go out at the same time.

So either it means extending the period allowed for each session or just go back to the 1 hour free for all.

Neither of them are ideal as there will still be the possibility of blocking but at least drivers will have more time available to get a clean run.

Or.....we could go back to pre-qualifying.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
OK, pre-qualifying system (assuming Championship 2009 stays the same)

[u][b]Q1 - FRIDAY AFTERNOON[/b][/u]

1 BMW
1 RENAULT
2 FORCE INDIA
2 TORO ROSSO
2 CAMPOS
2 MANOR
2 USF1

Top 6 of this session go through to Q2, rest start race in position but have practice session after qualifying Saturday. So if you finish this session 7th, then you start 21st etc.

Then 20 team Q2/Q3/Q4 as this year.

So that way, everyone starts the race and there aren't too many on the track at any point except the race where they will be far less randomly distributed.
 
The problem with splitting the qualifying into pools is not only the extra rubber on the track but what about weather changes. What is to stop a team switching the tradition so that their best driver is the second driver who can use his teammate as a fact finder in the first session.

With so many new indy teams next season, aren't the last 8-10 spots on the grid going to be fairly set in stone anyway. Maybe adding a pre-qualifying/new Q1 session would work; the new teams (Campos, USF1, Manor, Lotus, whats left of the BMW team) plus the cars from the bottom 2 teams of this year (Torro Rosso and Force India/Renault) should have a 15 minute low fuel session to compete for the back 10 spots on the grid with the fastest 4 going into the Q1 we now know of 20 cars.

I sounds a bit daft I know but the new teams would have the chance to get their own dedicated TV time and so raise some revenue and sponsorship plus they would have a realistic aim for the weekend (to be the fastest four) rather than just expecting to go out at the first hurdle. Maybe it could be even more rewarding to teams, how about from race 2 onwards, the cars that finished in the last 14 places at the last race or those retired plus the last cars to make up the numbers would be in the pre-qualifying to reward the new teams for finishing the race and punishing teams for poor reliability (is it better to keep going in 15th place with no chance of points but not having to prequalify next time or to park up and save your engine but do 4 qually runs).

If there are 8 cars on the grid, would it be reasonable to extend the points positions down to 10th or even 12 place in the race?

Just some random ideas.

EDIT; much the same ideas as already suggested.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
I would hope the FIA and FOTA have considered this otherwise there are going to be lots of penalties being handed out next year and cars being out of position due to being unable to get a hot lap in.

Hmmm, maybe that's all part of the plan to increase overtaking and improve the "spectacle".


P.S. Welcome to the site BCBob, nice to have you over here
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
How about a 1 hour session, all cars able to do as many laps as they like, with whatever fuel load they like, and the fastest car at the end of the hour gets pole? Special super sticky tyres can be made avialable for those drivers brave enough for a balls out, banzai lap. Oh, hang on...

More seriously, a continuous 60 minute session but the average of 4 timed laps decides who get pole. No limit on the number of laps, simply the 4 fastest are averaged for the grid time. Each driver must do at least one timed lap during each 20 minute section to keep those with a low boredom threshold (sorry, TV audience) happy that the cars are going round!

Any driver not completing 4 timed laps starts from the back of the grid, any driver not completing a timed lap in any 20 minute section starts from the back of the grid. If more than one driver doesn't achieve either of the above the average of the lap times completed defines the grid slot but a driver completeing 3 timed laps automatically starts in front of anyone only completing 2 or 1 timed laps.

If you wanted to maintain the silly tyres rules you could add 2 timed laps on the prime compound and two timed laps on the option.
 

Muddytalker

Points Scorer
Taking aside the 'no cars on telly earning BCE any money' argument, with no refuelling next year, do we need Q1/Q2/Q3? If the answer is no, then it should go back to the straight 1 hour's qualifying. Whether that be limited to 12 laps, 3 sets of tyres, or unlimited running I don't mind either way.

However, I doubt Bernie will allow the old fashioned free for all as he didn't like the 'quiet times', but maybe something like the following could be organised?

1 hour qualifying, with each driver's best time within that hour to decide the grid order.
The hour is broken up into 3 continuous segments of 20 minutes each. Each driver must complete at least 1 on-track lap within each segment, and the lap must be within 5% of the best time within that segment.
Failure to complete a lap, or post a lap time quick enough, results in that driver being eliminated, and unable to improve his/her time.

There might be a few tweeks needed, but I think it covers most of the bases.

Edit - I see FB came up with a similar idea. Curses!
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
Interesting ideas.

If it wasn't for the TV audience/money aspect I'm sure some of them would prove to be better for an increased grid than what we currently have.

I seem to remember GM coming up with an interesting idea for qualifying and grid positions a while ago.
I'll see if I can find it.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Wasn't the other idea a sprint race for the slowest 10 from the previous race - can't remeber whether this was a sort pf pre-qualifying on the Friday.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
Now I don't have a low boredom threshold but I would prefer a qualifying session where stuff happens. The one hour session was awful because it had all the action of your average European Grand Prix.

Now we have low fuel, why not require that the drivers complete Sections 2 and 3 of an outlap and Sections 1 and 2 of an inlap at a reasonable pace such that there are not any slow cars dawdling around. Since we have low fuel this should not inhibit race performance, and 2 laps aren't going to kill an engine.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff member
Premium Contributor
If there were to be 14 teams then the solution to the Monaco issue (besides dropping the race alltogether) is to do what they used to do in the early 80's. Back then there were 26 spots on the grid with the exception of Monaco where there were only 24. So 2 more teams missed out when it came to pre-qualifying.

All that has to be done is a quick pre-quallifying between the bottom say 4 teams on the thursday and bingo, Slowest team goes home.

That could be a long way if you are from the US or Malaya ;)

EDIT:

Another reason besides constant TV coverage for teams and no blank periods lead to the Q1,2,3 route is the fact that most broadcasters have to "take a break for these important messages". I imagine there would be a great deal of reluctance from broadcasters to either drop the ad breaks or miss and incident or brilliant lap.
 
FB said:
Wasn't the other idea a sprint race for the slowest 10 from the previous race - can't remeber whether this was a sort pf pre-qualifying on the Friday.
Wouldn't the issue with this be that you would be putting an unfair burden upon the restricted engines and gearboxes of those cars in the sprint; they would probably also require extra tyres and would have an unfair advantage over others by running a race fuel. Also the TV aspect of it would be tough, whatever the new qually format it must exist within the current time line of around 60-70 mins on a Saturday lunch.

Teams going home after qually is also a non starter, chances are it would be the same team and those teams at the bottom would never get sponsorship enough to survive if they rarely made the race; in this day and age if there are 28 cars then they all need to be on the grid come race day.

Cheers Brogan, I have visited the site plenty from your links on AVForums so it is odd that I have not joined before now.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff member
Premium Contributor
Well another great way of cutting costs and making more space on the grid is to get rid of all those stupid sounding team wagons like the "Red Bull Energy Centre" and get back to a couple of lorries, a caravan for the mechanics and a greasy spoon for a cuppa and a bacon buttie.

If the teams wish to wine and dine their chosen few let them do it elsewhere. These people never watch the race anyway so you could just as easly set up a massive hospitality area in a field ten miles from the circuit and show the race on a big TV.

:snigger:
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
cider_and_toast said:
to a couple of lorries, a caravan for the mechanics and a greasy spoon for a cuppa and a bacon buttie.
Most of the mechanics are British anyway, so they're going to be going to the greasy spoon rather than the fois gras and caviar...

My issue is with space on the track, we all know how we can save space in the pitlane. Renault's pit garage is 3 times as big as everyone else's to fit the egos of Messers Briatore and Alonso!

Basically, they say the WCC gets bigger garages on race weekends. Well, give 14 garages the size of FI's garage and hey presto! Costs cut and space created. Simples!
 

McZiderRed

Champion Elect
Supporter
I think it was the Force India Bloke (can never remember his name!) on the red-button P2 commentary a few race weekends ago that said, if the grid does get larger, then the teams will have to share garages like the old days. Nice and cosy does it. Can't see why they can't?
 

RickD

Pole Sitter
teabagyokel said:
cider_and_toast said:
to a couple of lorries, a caravan for the mechanics and a greasy spoon for a cuppa and a bacon buttie.
Most of the mechanics are British anyway, so they're going to be going to the greasy spoon rather than the fois gras and caviar...

My issue is with space on the track, we all know how we can save space in the pitlane. Renault's pit garage is 3 times as big as everyone else's to fit the egos of Messers Briatore and Alonso!

Basically, they say the WCC gets bigger garages on race weekends. Well, give 14 garages the size of FI's garage and hey presto! Costs cut and space created. Simples!
Thats lucky then, they will now be able to recover half that space.. LOL
 
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