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Final qualifying phase set to be shortened 08 Sep 2007

Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber F1.07.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, 4 August 2007 Pat Symonds (GBR) Renault Executive Director of Engineering (Centre).
Formula One World Championship, Rd 6, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 9 June 2007

The so-called ‘fuel-burning’ phase of qualifying could become a thing of the past next season if plans to shorten Q3 - the 15-minute shootout for pole position - get the go ahead.

“The Sporting Working Group met here in Monza on Wednesday and among the items on the agenda was a proposal that just slightly modified the qualifying procedure, but in so doing got rid of the fuel-burning laps,” said Renault’s Executive Director of Engineering, Pat Symonds.

Currently, the ten drivers competing in Q3 must begin the session with the fuel load they plan to carry at the start of race. This means they spend a large part of the 15 minutes reducing that fuel load to lighten their cars and hence maximise their qualifying speed. The fuel used in the session is then credited back ahead of the race.

Explaining how this would change under the new proposals, Symonds said: “The way it did it was to have a more limited time in Q3 in the final part of qualifying and to still re-fuel before that so you still had to put in the fuel that would do your qualifying and your race, but because the qualifying was shorter and because you got no credit back on Sunday morning, you simply put in what you needed for qualifying and the race.”

The proposals will now go to the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council for approval ahead of their expected application in 2008.