Formula One qualifying is to undergo a major overhaul this season after F1 bosses unanimously agreed to change to a knockout format.
The changes are expected to be passed in time for the first race of the season in Australia on March 20 in a bid to introduce more excitement after two years of domination by Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes.
“Upon the recommendation of the Strategy Group, the F1 Commission passed a series of new measures designed to deliver a faster, more spectacular FIA Formula One World Championship,” the FIA said in a statement.
The meeting of the Strategy Group and F1 commission in Geneva on Tuesday was expected to see more technical changes to help increase the speed of the cars for the 2017 season.
However, the deadline for agreement on changes to the regulations has been delayed until April 30.
The proposal will see qualifying split into three segments.
The first segment will last 16 minutes and after seven minutes the slowest driver will take no further part in the session.
Every 90 seconds thereafter, the slowest will be knocked out until there are only 15 drivers remaining.
A 15-minute second segment follows a similar pattern with the slowest driver eliminated after six minutes and then a further driver knocked out at 90-second intervals.
The final segment will last 14 minutes with knockouts beginning after five minutes until the two final drivers are left to fight it out for pole position.
The change will require ratification by the World MotorSport Council, which next meets on March 4.
Extra safety measures to protect drivers are also set to be introduced from the 2017 season with a shield around the cockpit to prevent injuries from flying debris. – Agence France-Presse