How long will F1’s new qualifying format last? (VIDEO)


Saturday’s debut of the new Formula 1 qualifying format was intended to spice up the session, get more cars out on track and shake up the grid in a bid to improve the racing come Sunday.

Instead, what unfolded was one of the most disappointing qualifying sessions in the recent history of F1, ending with a massive anti-climax as pole position was settled with four minutes remaining in the day.

After being voted through by the F1 Commission despite being opposed by the drivers, the addition of quickfire eliminations to qualifying came into force on Saturday.

Although it did spice up Q1 and Q2, it also robbed many drivers of the chance to complete a quick lap, leaving fans to watch drivers either crossing the line for nothing or aborting a fast effort.

The biggest blow came in Q3, though, as only Mercedes completed more than one run and Lewis Hamilton was able to take his 50th career pole with four minutes remaining in the session.

The immediate reaction from both in and out of the paddock has been highly negative, with Red Bull team boss Christian Horner suggesting that F1 should scrap it for the second race of the year in Bahrain.

In this video, NBCSN’s Leigh Diffey, David Hobbs and Steve Matchett share their thoughts on qualifying, and consider just how long it will last.

“For me, it just did not feel like qualifying,” Diffey said.

“We all said at the time, why of all the things in Formula 1 that need changing, why change qualifying that has been an unmitigated success for years,” Hobbs added.

“It didn’t need tinkering with. I think what we saw today was absolutely a disaster.”

Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
James Gilbert/Getty Images

Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.