For 2006, despite many great suggestions in F1 magazines and websites, the FIA went and introduced one of the most bizarre Qualifying sessions imaginable. (Even after conducting a huge web survey hilariously saying they wanted to listen to fans…)

Although it could have been worse, it’s still clearly over-complicated, deeply flawed, has a pointless and boring 3rd section, and appears to be counterproductive to its original intentions.

Bernie said that qualifying should ensure maximum exposure for all sponsors (particularly with regard to smaller teams) so how can a speed-test system that counts those teams out in the first round succeed in helping their global exposure?

It can’t of course. It’s a shambles. Hugely entertaining for the most part, but still a complete hostage to randomness: a surreal mix of It’s A Knockout, Mike Reid’s Runaround and The Krypton Factor. I’m only surprised they left out Bullseye and 3-2-1.

Will the qualifying system change? Very probably to some extent, if only making that final section a teensy bit less pointless. Already the revelation that it was so poorly considered that it could be exploited for fuel strategies has already led to one loophole being closed. Even so, the third segment is still impossibly drab.

The last couple of seasonal variations on Qualifying were pretty unsatisfactory too compared to the old one hour free-for-all, and despite much hand-wringing pretty much nothing useful got done.

The main problem of last year’s Qualifying system (apart from being a drag to watch) was it progressively punished poor performance with a further handicap.

It did, admittedly, lead to mixed-up grids and some scintillating comebacks from Raikkonen whenever he fell foul of 10-place engine penalties. The most exciting race of the year – Japan, with top showings from both him and Alonso, resulted from a mixed up grid too.

But if you just want the grid mixed up for the hell of it, you shouldn’t pretend that Qualifying should be in any way rational: you should just decide grids with tarot cards or lottery balls.

Or best of all, Most Haunted’s Derek Acorah getting possessed and bellowing out the drivers’ names before collapsing exhausted to the floor.
Go on, admit it: you’d pay to watch that… I know I would.