Williams chief technical officer Pat Symonds says that the elimination F1 qualifying format proposed for 2016 won’t necessarily improve the show on Saturday, but it will shake up the grid for Sunday.
Symonds stressed that all teams have a lot of work to do by Melbourne if the system is confirmed for the first race.
“It’s going to be quite tough,” he said. “We certainly need to spend a lot more time thinking about it. I don’t think it’s going to improve qualifying itself, in fact I think there’s a danger qualifying might not be as exciting, it may not build up to that final crescendo. But what it has a good chance of doing is improving the race.
“It’s quite a difficult situation, it’s done at very short notice, we’re not going to have a lot of time to get our thoughts together and optimise everything and write loads of software to help us optimise it. And so I think all of us are going to make mistakes, especially early on and that means there will be occasions when cars are out of position. We will see some of the quicker cars a bit further back, and we all know that’s given us some great races in the past.
Teams have already made their tyre selections for the early races, and Symonds admitted that those choices might have different.
“This year we have more say in the selection of the tyres. We’ve already the nominations for the first few races, and we’ve done that without the knowledge that the qualifying procedure was going to change. I’m sure that as we analyse it we will say has we known this, we would have chosen differently, but the fact is we are in the same boat, so I don’t think it’s such a big deal.
“There’s a lot of work to do in the next few weeks, not just for us but for FOM to redo the software that handles the timing systems and things like that. It’s quite a tough call.”