F1 governing body the FIA has modified regulations to qualifying in accordance with the number of cars to be contesting Grands Prix next year. As the line-up increases by six, the first two phases of the hour will now see eight cars eliminated as opposed to five as the top ten shootout takes place on low fuel loads.
With the grid increasing from 20 to 26 competitors next season, the first two phases of the qualifying session will become all the more important as rows nine to thirteen on the grid will be decided in Q1 with the sixth to ninth rows formed from Q2 results.
As in 2009, the first two segments of the hour will last for 20 and 15 minutes respectively with the final phase’s duration being 10 minutes.
However, with the ban on refuelling in races next year, the top ten shootout will now be running on low fuel – as opposed to carrying race starting loads – which will allow onlookers to view the true pace of drivers as instead of needing to calculating fuel-corrected lap times. All cars will then be refuelled ahead of Sunday’s race in the same manner that non-top ten runners are this year.