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2016-03-02 15:29

F1'S CONTROVERSIAL QUALI SYSTEM: World champion Lewis Hamilton (pictured) and the rest of the field will have to deal with a new qualifying system in Melbourne later in March.Image: AFP/ Luca Bruno

London, England - Formula 1's new 'musical chairs' qualifying format will take place ahead of the Melbourne season opener in just over two weeks.

Earlier in February, Bernie Ecclestone had said that although the F1 Commission approved the controversial shakeup, the software-writers at F1 Management would run out of time to be ready for the first race of 2016.

Read: F1's new knockout qualifying system - How it works

However, Germany's Auto Motor und Sport reports on Wednesday that a compromise solution has been found, following a meeting between F1 race director Charlie Whiting and team bosses in Barcelona.

'Knockout' format

F1 correspondent Michael Schmidt said: "Q1 and Q2 will be the new elimination process (And) Q3 will take place according to the old system."

It means that in Q1 and Q2, after seven minutes of running, drivers will be eliminated one by one every 90 seconds. The top 8 will then be left to fight it out for pole in Q3, as per the existing 'knockout' format.

The compromise was found because Ecclestone reportedly feared that introducing his preferred system mid-season was not ideal for a professional sport.

The change must be rubber-stamped by the World Motor Sport Council on Friday (February 4).


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