Qualifying fuel strategies to be revealed

Among the World Motor Sports Councils decisions for the 2009 F1 season are a series of measured aimed at improving media coverage of the sport.

Most important of these is the news that the weight of every car will be published after qualifying. This will allow fans to know whether drivers in the top ten qualifying have heavy or light fuel loads.

It would, of course, be much better to know this information as qualifying begins, to heighten the interest. Hopefully this will follow as the season progresses. But with refuelling banned in 2010, it will ultimately become unnecessary anyway.

The FIA has also stipulated occasions in race weekends when the drivers must make themselves available:

  • After practice, for autograph signings
  • After being eliminated during qualifying, for interviews
  • After retiring from a race, for interviews
  • After finishing a race, for interviews

These are all sensible steps and the only bad thing you can say about them is they should have been taken years ago.

Finally, lighter grooved wet weather tyres will now be called ??intermediates? once again, and the tyres known last year as ??extreme wets? will now be called ??wets?. In other words, they?ll go back to how it was before, which made sense. If only this philosophy was applied to other parts of the rulebook??

On the whole, I think these media requirements count among the best things to come out of today?s World Motor Sports Council meeting.

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23 comments on Qualifying fuel strategies to be revealed

  1. Gman said on 17th March 2009, 18:40

    Good developments all around. The driver interviews is an area where NASCAR dose very well- even if a driver has a terribly disappointing shunt in the middle of a big race, they still line up for the cameras even while the race is going on. Just think of how good it would have been to get Lewis and/or Kimi live after the Montreal pitlane incident last season.

  2. TommyB said on 17th March 2009, 18:43

    I liked the surprise of the fuel loads. It makes it more interesting and keeps me excited for the race on Sunday

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 17th March 2009, 23:04

      I couldn’t disagree more. Knowing the drivers had different fuel loads during qualifying, but not knowing what they were, ruined the spectacle of qualifying and turn the opening stages of the races into a tedious wait to see who would make their pit stops when.

  3. Loki said on 17th March 2009, 19:15

    I can see this being Kimi’s last season in F1 doing more interviews and promotional work!

    • ajokay said on 18th March 2009, 8:58

      I should think he’ll probably become so irritated and bored by the end of the season that he’ll leave F1 to explore other avenues.

  4. Yes, these measures are good for the fans but, in the words of your poll, Keith, will they improve the sport? The answer is obviously no.

  5. It all depends on your network. If your TV network only shows the race and qualifying, then whats the point?

  6. Jess said on 17th March 2009, 22:10

    Great more interaction. I am not happy about the championship system but I can live with that. I want to see more of the drivers.

  7. Terry Fabulous said on 17th March 2009, 23:38

    Great decision, I’m with you GMan, imagine Kimi and Lewis after Montreal! Crap, imagine Kimi after Spa!!!!!

    The idea of having the fuel loads is a winner too but just a stop gap until we get rid of the refueling.

    • sherlokuk said on 18th March 2009, 17:34

      loving the tv interviews with the drivers but imagine them talking to massa after silverstone!

  8. I couldn’t think of many worse proposals than to disclose fuel levels after qualifying.

    It’s a step to remove a level of unpredictability of the sport. Something to speculate on on a Saturday night in the pub, something to argue about with friends who support other teams.

    Sometimes strategy and speculation is the only interesting part of the race (read Hungary :) ) I’m really disappointed that they decided to do this.

    Re: making drivers available for autographs, to be honest I think its a red herring, after all what percentage of F1 viewers go to a race? and of that percentage how many show up on a Friday :/ Anyhow autograph sessions and interviews should have to be mandated, teams and drivers should be doing them anyway :)

  9. Mahir C said on 18th March 2009, 0:04

    why have qualifying with fuel at the first place, is there any reason left to keep?

    As for driver interviews, i couldnt care less. When was the last time drivers had anything interesting to say. “I’d like to thank team, sponsors, my dad, my cat etc. tyres were blah blah”

  10. JohnBt said on 18th March 2009, 3:33

    Come 2010, drivers will have to observe the “Professor” past races.
    Imagine drivers halting only three meters over or before the chequered flag.
    Yesterday, all my troubles seems so far away……….

  11. DGR-F1 said on 18th March 2009, 8:27

    Hmmm, and what happens if a drivers refuses to talk after a particularly silly incident? Is he going to be penalised in some way?
    I am all for driver interaction with the public, the autograph sessions will be great for that, but what is to be gained by some stupid reporter sticking a microphone into the face of an already angry driver?
    I am beginning to dread anything Ted ‘I know more than anybody else in the Pit Lane’ Kravitz will be asking during a race!

  12. Oliver said on 18th March 2009, 8:35

    So you know before hand when the drivers are going to stop, how does that help with the excitement? As far as I’m concerned, its pointless, what it just means is that the FIA no longer has any reason to pretend they were not making this information privy to some teams already.

  13. Its good to get more access to the drivers. Ideally this would be extended to include some of the teams staff (eg. the race engineers) to get a fuller picture.

    I’m also hoping that somewhere on the net would have all these interviews, so we can see those which the TV companies don’t have a chance to show.

  14. Pingguest said on 18th March 2009, 9:46

    I think it would had been a better idea to (partially) abolish the post-qualifying parc fermé. Drivers should always be allowed to refuel and change the setup between qualifying and race.

  15. Leslie said on 19th March 2009, 3:15

    When did a driver last say what he relly thinks? They’ll just reel out the usual innane team talk, or else.

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