F1: FIA confirms change of qualifying format for Austin

Cars sit at the end of the pitlane during qualifying for the 2013 Australian Grand Prix.

Mark Thompson/Getty Images

The FIA has confirmed that the qualifying format will change in Austin to reflect the fact that there are only 18 cars entered.

Four cars will be eliminated in Q1, and a further four in Q2. However Sebastian Vettel has already declared that he won’t participate in qualifying as a change to a complete sixth power unit will mandate a pitlane start, so in effect three cars will be bumped in Q1 this time.

Meanwhile the stewards have formally confirmed that Marussia and Caterham have both breached the regulations relating to entry in the championship by failing to turn up for the US GP.

The stewards have taken into account the ‘current financial circumstances’ of the team had applied no penalty. However, the matter has been referred to FIA President Jean Todt.