After teams agreed to the proposed qualifying format by the Formula 1 Commission, the World Motorsport Council (WMC) has approved the new style of qualifying. The new rule will be effective by the first race of the 2016 Formula 1 season in Australia.
The new “knock out” formula sees drivers being eliminated in 90 second intervals during the Q1, Q2 and Q3 sessions.
For Q1, eliminations will begin seven minutes into the session where the slowest qualifier will be knocked out. After 90 seconds, another driver will be eliminated and so on until 7 qualifiers are out of the running. The driver who has been eliminated will be forced to go back to the pits. Total session time of Q1 will be 16 minutes.
Q2 sees the same format at Q1 but eliminations will begin after the sixth minute. Q2 will eliminate 5 drivers, slimming down the Q3 grid to 8.
Q3 leaves just eight drivers fighting for pole positions. This session would be 10 to 14 minutes long with eliminations starting 5 minutes after the start of the session. Just like Q1 and Q2, a driver will be knocked out after 90 seconds. After the sixth driver is eliminated, the final 90 seconds of the session will see the two fastest qualifiers in a one on one shootout for pole position. The session ends one the second of the last two drivers crosses the finish line.