F1 group agrees ‘fuel burn’ qualifying tweak

Fri, 7 September 2007, 06:54

F1’s Sporting Working Group has agreed to rid the current qualifying format of the controversial phenomenon known as ‘fuel burning’ ahead of the 2008 season.

Because of the format’s clash with the parallel parc ferme regulations, drivers currently approach the opening laps of the top-ten runout with the objective of simply burning fuel and earning ‘credits’ to add more fuel before the race.

Renault technical director Bob Bell remarked that the unrefined system is at the moment “a completely strange thing to do given we’re all becoming eco-friendly”.

The agreed solution for 2008 is twofold; the final Q3 session will be reduced from 15 minutes to a new (unknown) timeframe, and teams will no longer be able to replace burned fuel prior to Sunday’s race.

The tweaks effectively mean that competitors will have to approach the battle for pole position with an initial load of fuel for the race, plus an additional amount for qualifying.

Should drivers make an error on a flying lap, therefore, they will have to weigh up the benefit of another qualifying attempt with possibly compromising the desired strategy for the first stint of the race.

The revised format will now be sent to the World Motor Sport Council for approval.

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