Formula One set for qualifying change

Tue Feb 23, 2016 3:33pm EST
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By Alan Baldwin

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Formula One could have a new qualifying format as early as this season after team bosses agreed the change at talks in Switzerland on Tuesday.

Sources with knowledge of the discussions told Reuters that the Formula One commission meetings in Geneva had produced "constructive development" on topics including agreement on a new elimination-style qualifying.

However any change was subject to final approval by the governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) World Motor Sport Council next month.

More details are likely to emerge at pre-season testing on Wednesday in Barcelona.

The season begins in Australia on March 20.

The meetings of the core strategy group, which includes the top six teams, the FIA and commercial rights holder, and broader Formula One commission had been due to discuss major changes for 2017 to make racing more exciting.

However, specialist motorsport websites reported the qualifying change could be introduced this season with an outline agreement in place.

Qualifying formats have changed repeatedly over the years, ranging from each car doing a single lap alone to a frenetic all-out battle for pole with all cars on track at once.   Continued...

Ferrari Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany takes a curve with his car during the second testing session ahead of the upcoming season at the Circuit Barcelona-Catalunya in Montmelo, Spain, February 23, 2016. REUTERS/Sergio Perez