The FIA, the Formula One management and the teams are still looking for ways to improve the sport for 2021. Now, one idea being floated around is a brand new qualifying format, which promises to shake things up.
Unfortunately, time is running to actually put these reforms on the table for the future. The deadline for bringing forward these changes for 2021 is the end of October. For the moment, a number of proposals are still in its infancy and far from being fully implemented.
The teams have unanimously called on FIA Chief Technology Officer Nikolas Tombazis to uphold the ban on refuelling. According to them, refuelling simply makes the tactics and races more predictable. However, FIA president Jean Todt is a fan of bringing back refuelling.
Another proposal is, after four races, a mini-Grand Prix could replace the qualification. The idea is that a new element introduced into the sport should evoke more action. If the idea gets approval a 100 kilometre race will replace the current qualification format, in order to determine the starting grid in three knockout rounds.
On Saturday, the top drivers, like Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel would be forced to come from the back of the pack. Such a tactic would guarantee plenty of overtaking manoeuvres.
As for the races where these gimmicks will be implemented, the proposed venues are, Shanghai, Barcelona and Paul Ricard. Another potential candidate could be the Zandvoort circuit.
On the other end of the scale, at circuits like Monte Carlo or Singapore a qualifying race would be unfair to the well-placed drivers. Before that happens, there are a few more questions to answer.
For example: What happens in an accident? What if it rains Saturday and Sunday is dry or vice versa? There is also another concern. If the new format proves to be successful, this could provoke other organizers’ desires. They might also prefer a sprint race instead of qualifying on Saturday.