Qualifying in Formula 1 could be set to change according to AUTOSPORT. The magazine has learned that the FIA are discussing the idea of changing the format in order to prevent the recent situation of no cars running in Q3 to save tires.
According to the report, the F1 series is looking at a few options as mentioned by AUTOSPORT’s Jonathan Noble:
“They include forcing the ten drivers who make it through to Q3 to start the race on the set of tyres that they set their best Q2 lap on.
That means that there will be no incentive to sit out Q3.
Furthermore, there is an idea to hand drivers extra sets of tyres for the final qualifying segment, which are returned to the FIA afterwards, that will allow them to push for the fastest lap without worrying it will compromise their race chances.”
Jonathan doesn’t mention any particular team’s reaction to the concept but you can bet that if they feel it is a hinderance to them in any way, they will not be too keen to sign off on the proposal. According to Noble, the change would require unanimous agreement in order to be instituted with immediate effect. Noble does mention that the duration of Q3 is being considered in order to allow the top 10 drivers to make two timed laps.
For Pirelli, they’ve been open to qualifying changes for quite a while now and were even mentioning the thought of a qualifying spec tire last year so this possible change would most likely not be a source of concern for the Italian tire maker.
So what do you think of a qualifying spec tire for Q3? Can this be solved by simply giving teams who make it to Q3 an extra set of tires for qualifying? What ramifications would that have for the teams who didn’t make it to Q3? Is this parity or pear-shaped strategy? What are some other way you feel qualifying might best be improved? Most F1 fans have been happy with the qualifying format but with the advent of tire saving, a lack of Q3 running is frustrating and if you consider that we see the fastest laps by these cars in Q2 on Saturday, that’s a bit concerning as well.
Hat tip: AUTOSPORT