Formula One qualifying will be modified to prevent the danger of drivers suddenly slowing to save fuel after their final quick laps while others are still at full speed, the governing FIA said on Friday.
A FIA spokesman confirmed the change is likely to come to effect before next week’s Bahrain Grand Prix. As expected the FIA will set a maximum time for drivers to return to pits after completing their qualifying run.
“Our clarification to the teams and drivers will be that cars returning to the pits having completed their flying lap or laps will be required to do so within a time that we will set. This could be approximately 120 percent of the normal time as we do to prevent drivers going very slowly to the grid (on the pre-race formation lap) to save fuel.”
The calls for modification came after Nick Heidfeld and Fernando Alonso had to navigate between several slow moving cars (including both McLarens) on their flying lap during Malaysian GP qualifying session.
The qualifying has not been modified yet … FIA only stated the intention to do it and presented the media with some hints of what to expect. We still need to wait for official decision.