In previous seasons, qualifying brought as much excitement as race day, but no longer. My Saturdays are freed up.
Under the old system, anyone on the track for a session when the checkered flag waved could finish that lap. If their previous best time had them on the bubble for elimination, there would be great excitement to see if that very last lap would be enough to keep them alive.
The new system is a disaster for fans and a disappointment for drivers. To simply explain what's happened, each session starts eliminating drivers, one at a time in 90 second intervals. However, if you're at the back and put onto that 90 second clock, you better already be on a flying lap. If the clock expires before you reach start/finish then your lap will not count.
For the first application, at this weekend's race in Australia, many cars were eliminated while idled in the garage, their teams knowing they couldn't position in time for one last go at it. The anticipation and excitement lost. Fir many cars that had seemed capable of moving up the ranks, qualifying ended without that chance.
F1 has found a way to lose Saturday.
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