We mentioned a few weeks ago that Formula 1 was looking into the idea of improving the qualifying session by avoiding the case of cars sitting in garages for Q3 to save tires and get a free pick on what compounds they would start the race with. You see, teams that placed a timed lap in Q3 had to start on the tires they set their qualifying time on and some teams, not destined for the front row, decided that sitting in the garage would skirt the issue of tire commitment. F1 wasn’t too keen on that nuance to their qualifying rules so they’ve decided to act.
The strategy group met this week to approve changes to the qualifying session with teams who make it to Q3 starting on the compounds they used in Q2. They also will reduce the Q1 session from 20 to 18 minutes leaving two additional minutes to tack on to Q3 for a total of 12.
The changes still have to be approved by the FIA World Motor Sport Council, which seems a mere formality, prior to being installed for the Australian Grand Prix on March 16.
One element missing was the thought that Pirelli would create a qualifying tire with lot of grip and almost no shelf life just for Q3 participants in order to really amp up the Q3 running but apparently that idea wasn’t thrown on the table at the meeting…bummer.