REPORTERS – 28/02/2016

Features This Week

Could a new format for qualifying be introduced to make it more unpredictable and how could it work and will it change the nature of the session?

Battle style qualifying

Drivers may battle in a new elimination-style qualifying format which maybe introduced in Melbourne. The sports key player want the sport to be more unpredictable.

The plan came following a meeting of the rule making body the F1 Commission. The commission which sets the rules for the sport has approved a plan to  improved cockpit head protection in 2017. The move has been introduced to protect drivers.

All changes will need the approval of the  FIA World Council. Plans to make cars wider and faster with bigger tyres have also been confirmed.

  • It will work like this Q1 will last for 16 minutes
  • The slowest driver is eliminated after seven minutes
  • Then one will go every 90 seconds until seven drivers are out
  • Q2 will last for 15 minutes
  • The slowest driver will be eliminated after six minutes
  • Then one will go every 90 seconds until the end of the session
  • That leaves eight drivers in final qualifying.
  • Q3 will last for 14 minutes
  • The slowest driver will be eliminated after five minutes
  • Then one will go every 90 seconds until there are two drivers left
  • There will then be a final 90-second shoot-out for pole position


The Honda boss was replaced this week but what is his view on the issues the manufacturer has faced?

Arai leaves Honda

Honda motorsport boss Yasuhisa Arai will leave the Japanese car giant Formula One program at the end of the month. The announcement came following a board meeting when the company announced its “annual organisational changes.”

Arai will be replaced by Yusuke Hasegawa,  as head of development, manufacturing and management of the F1 project. The move comes following pressure from McLaren after they Honda struggled for reliability and performance.

Honda however will not be changing their philosophy for 2016 but changing the turbine, compressor and MGU-H. Arai told Autosport last year “It’s quite a different situation – 2015 and 2016,” Arai added.

“We didn’t have any experience with the complex system, so you can imagine the challenge, but we learned a lot and we have the confidence we can catch up.”

Mclaren last year also lobbied Honda to replace Arai last season.


Why has Haas not agreed a deal to receive its share of profits and prize money and what impact may it have?

No agreement on commercial terms

The team principal of Haas, Gunther Steiner says the team is yet to agree commercial terms with Formula One Management (FOM). A deal is required to bind them to the sport to receive its share of profits and prize money.

Steiner told Autosport: “Let us say we are at a ‘make and shake’ point, but I am most encouraged by the progress we have made.” In 2013 Marussia now Manor were left out of the agreement called the Concorde Agreement. The team would be eligible for a minimum of £6.5 million annual payment after it signed its deal with FOM.

Last year Renault was involved in long negotiations to solve its financial arrangements as it progressed with its Lotus takeover. The payments are made based on the constructor’s championship. Steiner has set the team the target of seventh which is worth £40 million pounds.

Meanwhile Steiner says the objective in Melbourne is “to get into Q2 and if possible to get a point home, and otherwise finish in the top 15, but to do the best we can,” with the target of seventh in the Contractors Championship.

Autosport says it understands that Haas would be ineligible to claim the revenue if a commercial deal is not struck with FOM.


Could drivers be putting their health at risk to keep their weight low and how much are they being told to lose?

Risking their health – Sainz

Carlos Sainz has warned that some heavier drivers like Daniel Ricciardo could be risking their health by losing weight because cars are heavier.

He Said “ow do you tell a driver to perform at his highest level while taking into account that he needs to lose three or four kilos?. It’s one thing against the other. You turn up to a test wanting to be as strong as possible but you cannot be as strong as possible because of weight (loss).”

Three drivers told Reuters they needed to lose weight before the opening race in Australia on March 20.

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo has shed three kilos, and says more must go, while Renault’s Kevin Magnussen and Sainz’s 18-year-old team mate Max Verstappen have been told to lose a few.

Every team aims to have the lightest car and driver combination, with ballast used to bring it up to the minimum weight. This can be moved around, improving performance.

He added “I heard really drastic things from Jean-Eric Vergne, what he had to do. It’s not safe and not the right way to go. We like to be fit and thin, that’s our job, but it’s not our job to be extremely skinny.”


That’s all from Reporters this week.


Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.

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