Formula One is set for a huge overhaul next season after Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto claimed that all 10 teams have agreed to axe the current qualifying format.
It is understood that a vote took place where every constructor agreed to revamp the current set-up on the Saturday before a Grand Prix and replace it with what will essentially be a ‘mini-race’.
The idea is that rather than qualifying, where the driver who sets the best time in Q3 is on pole position for the race the following day, there would be a shorter, sprint-race event that would determine the grid.
“All teams have said yes, including us,” Binotto told Gazzetta dello Sport . “So in 2020, it will be done.”
This development comes after a farcical qualifying session at the Italian Grand Prix last weekend.
Soon after that shambles, Lewis Hamilton said he fears it will take an accident for Formula One to change the qualifying format which brought a “dangerous” conclusion to Saturday’s battle for pole position.
Charles Leclerc might have delighted the scores of Ferrari fans by securing his second pole in as many weeks, edging out Hamilton by just 0.039 seconds, with Valtteri Bottas third and Sebastian Vettel fourth.
But the final moments of qualifying verged on the preposterous as the 10 drivers jostled for position and failed to complete a lap.
As they left the pits, the field bunched up, first going too slowly and then speeding up, darting from one side of the circuit to the other in an attempt to gain a slipstream at the fastest track in Formula One.
The farcical few miles were investigated by the FIA. The drivers had been warned about their conduct in Friday night’s briefing with race director Michael Masi.
“It doesn’t look good for Formula One,” said Hamilton. “I am sure it is going to continue to be an issue, particularly where you need a tow and positioning is key. But it will be until someone crashes that they will change it.
“Everyone was slowing right down, and blocking so you couldn’t get through. It was a dangerous and risky business. I nearly crashed a couple of times just staying out of the way of the guys ahead and the people trying to get past me.”