F1’s New Qualifying Won’t Debut Until Spanish Grand Prix
Those who are hoping for a more exciting Formula One season in 2016 are in for some good news and bad news. The good news is that the sport’s new elimination qualifying format will likely take effect this season. The bad news is that with the season-opening race in Melbourne scheduled for March 2016, there won’t be enough time to have the system in place for the season’s start. Take that for what it’s worth.
In a conversation with The Independent, F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone indicated that changes to the qualifying format will “probably” take effect during the Spanish Grand Prix, the fifth race in the calendar season. Timing is the root cause of the issue, specifically the time the FOM needs to ready the new timing software. Turns out, changing from one system to another is a far more complicated process than most people think. The biggest impediment at this point is the actual changing of the software that handles the timing systems. Software coding takes time, and even when they’re are done, there’s also that issue of testing and debugging the software.
The 2016 season season effectively starts in less than three weeks, so even if the FOM has all hands on deck to rewrite the entire system and work out all of its kinks, there’s simply not enough time before the Australian Grand Prix takes place.
It’s a bit of a complication, especially for all the parties involved. But if it makes for a better season altogether, the inconvenience should be worth the momentary hassle it’s causing.
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