Rules tweak enough to deliver drivers more qualifying tyres

Formula 1 could give drivers more sets of tyres for qualifying by simply ending the huge wastage of rubber that takes place each weekend, claims Pirelli.

Ahead of a decision later on Thursday to decide on F1's qualifying format, much of the focus about improving the spectacle of Saturday has revolved around the number of tyres drivers have.

One of the reasons that elimination qualifying was criticised was that drivers were unable to run in the final minutes of Q3 because they had run out of new tyres.

With F1 evaluating a new aggregate format, it is possible there could be similar issues – and the need for Pirelli to make available more sets for teams.

But with Pirelli clear that it is already too late to manufacture any new tyres for the Chinese Grand Prix, its motorsport boss Paul Hembery thinks that changes to tyre allocation rules would be enough to help the situation.

"What I have said to the teams is that they keep asking for extra sets of tyres, and I keep going away from each race with piles of new tyres," he said.

"So somewhere across the line, something isn't working. If we were going away from a weekend with everything used and people re-using used tyres then yeah we have to do something different.

"But we have a situation right now where there are a lot of new tyres unused so we are utilising our resources badly."

Q3 sets

Hembery says that the key issue is that all teams are currently given extra sets of the softest tyres for Q3, just in case they make it through.

But with only eight cars actually using them, the remaining 14 sets are wasted as they get destroyed after a weekend.

"We need to go back and look at the end of a race weekend how many sets of tyres are left over," he said. "Why are they left over? What part of the race weekend are they from?

"We do have a significant number of tyres that don't get used. Every single car has an extra set of tyres for getting into Q3, but in Bahrain only eight used that extra set so we will take home 14 unused sets that will be scrapped.

"That is clearly a waste of energy and money. So let's look intelligently at what has been happening over a race weekend and, by gentle changes to how we use allocate or take back tyres, we might be able to get a better utilisation.

"If we have to do something extra we will do it, but it costs money."

Old format not ideal

Hembery, who will have to support any move to change qualifying as Pirelli sits on the F1 Commission, believes that reverting to the 2015 qualifying format is not ideal – because there were bad elements to that system involving tyre saving.

"People are forgetting and think that going back to the previous system was perfect," he said.

"With the previous system, the fastest teams only did one lap in Q1 and Q2 because they had such an advantage, and that meant they had an advantage with more sets of tyres going into the race.

"That aspect has always been there but has got lost somewhere along the way."

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Series Formula 1
Article type Breaking news