Is it time to bring back qualifying tyres?

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Ayrton Senna, McLaren, 1991

Ayrton Senna set pole eight times in 1991, the last year with qualifying tyres

During the last race weekend, Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery revealed they were talking to teams about bringing back qualifiyng tyres.

The one-lap specials, super-sticky rubber designed for use in qualifying, haven’t been seen since Pirelli’s last appearance in F1 two decades ago.

Is now the time to bring them back? Or are the practical problems of having qualifying tyres too great to overcome?

For

There’s a lot to like about Pirelli’s plan to reintroduce qualifying tyres in F1.

They would give drivers a burst of extra performance in qualifying – in the knowledge that a single mistake could cost them several places on the grid.

We saw some terrific upsets and fascinating races thanks to qualifying tyres in the past. Remember Pierluigi Martini putting his Minardi on the front row of the grid for the 1990 United States Grand Prix?

Nigel Mansell’s thrilling and improbable victory from 12th on the grid at the Hungaroring in 1989 was born from his difficulties getting the most out of the qualifying tyres and focussing on his race set-up instead.

There’s potentially an added bonus: the rule forcing the top ten drivers to start the race on the tyres they qualified on would have to be scrapped. This has proved a worthless and unnecessary rule, and F1 would be better off without it.

Against

Hembery indicated he would like to make the tyres available for all three stages of qualifying without increasing the number of tyres it brings to a race weekend. This is not going to be easy to achieve, and could compromise the amount of running done throughout the rest of a race weekend.

For example, teams only have three sets of tyres for three hours of running on Friday, and it’s hard to see how that could be reduced.

There may be scope to reduce the number of harder tyres provided for races but there’s precious little wiggle room in this area of the rules.

Qualifying tyres are associated with some bad memories, notably Gilles Villeneuve’s fatal accident in 1982 as reader Ted Bell argued in a recent Comment of the Day.

I say

Stefano Modena, Brabham, 1990

Stefano Modena drives with a fresh set of sticky Pirellis in 1990

Qualifying tyres means spectacular flying laps, greater variation in qualifying performances and a tougher challenge for the drivers. All of that sounds very appealing.

I also like the idea suggested by a fan and taken up by Hembery to colour the tyres purple to match the fastest sectors on the timing screens.

I do not believe they would make qualifying any more dangerous than it is at present.

We already have circumstances where faster cars catch slower ones in qualifying, but advances in radio technology mean both drivers are more likely to be aware of the situation. Almost three decades have passed since Villeneuve’s tragic accident and car and track safety has moved on enormously in that time.

But a lot of thought needs to be put into how qualifying tyres would work within the current framework and tyre restrictions. Would it turn Q3 into eight minutes of tedium followed by two minutes of action in which we can only see one complete lap?

You say

Do you want to see qualifying tyres back in F1? Cast your vote and have your say below.

Should qualifying tyres be reintroduced in F1?

  • Yes (71%)
  • No (22%)
  • No opinion (7%)

Total Voters: 281

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134 comments on Is it time to bring back qualifying tyres?

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  1. Mads (@mads) said on 15th August 2011, 10:46

    That would be great to have qualifying tyres back.
    I wouldn’t like if they compromised the number of tyres for the teams, just give each team four Q tyres for each weekend and let them go crazy with them.
    That would result in some seriously spectacular qualifying laps. I would love to see that.
    Maybe to reduce the number of tyres used they could run Q1 on race tyres, then the cars that dropped out let them go out again on one set of Q tyres and that would then decide the order they start in. Same for Q2 and Q3. That would be really challenging for the drivers, but could be a little too complicated.

    • unocv12 said on 15th August 2011, 11:26

      This is what I don’t get ‘seriously spectacular qualifying laps’.

      99.9% of people can’t tell the difference without timing screens of a lap in the middle of the race and a lap near the end of the race. The difference is about a second or so and you can’t tell by lookingat it. The driver is trying to drive on the edge of whatever grip he has.

      Let’s put it this way…. would you rather watch Senna’s 1988 pole lap of Monaco where he beat Prost by a second… OR Kovalianen’s 2010 lap where he finsihed 6 seconds faster

      Both driver beat their teammates, Kova’s lap was faster yet people would prefer to watch Senna’s despite the extra performance the car gave in Kovalianen.

      I’m against it as I see no point. Reduce the tyres for teh weekend BAD, change the whole setup of the quali’s as now we would have ton see all the fast cars going out on quali tyres in Q1, only get 1 lap per session for each car….

      If I go to a GP, I want to see Hamilton, Alonso and co do several laps, not just 3 for the whole of quali. Currently they do 15 or so, much better.

      ANOTHER EXAMPLE Would you perfer to see Hamiltons lap in the drying wet track at Spa in 2010 or during a dry lap? Going by the ‘spectacular’ comment the dry would be way better because of the extra grip, yet I would prefer the wet.

      • bob80 said on 15th August 2011, 12:06

        I agree. There would be nothing spectacular in that lap.

      • If, it stops the one qualifying run and people getting out of the car with 8 minutes of the session then I’m all for it.
        In the past anyone could clearly see the difference between the Qualifying tyres and race tyres, the car just behaves differently, it not anything to do with whether the lap is a second or so faster.

        The main advantage is that you get a slightly jumbled up grid as qualifying pace vs race pace can very different (OK we’ve had that this year because of the characteristics of this years cars but its not normally the case), the order is still decided by skill, not anything ridiculous like reverse grids, but you have more opportunity for race days overtakes as certain car / driver / tyre combinations work better on race day.

        • PT (@pt) said on 17th August 2011, 7:53

          The whole idea behind Qualifying is deciding the grid position for the race (correct me if I’m wrong). So I personally believe that one must qualify with the same car and set-up as for the race. Going by principle it isn’t fair to optimize set-up exclusively for qualifying.

          Qualifying doesn’t give you points, it only qualifies you to participate in the race, so using a special set-up is, I feel, a manipulation of what qualifying is all about. Changing set-up between qualifying and race (I know teams already do that) is almost like qualifying with one car and racing with another (in my view). Going by principle I wouldn’t support qualifying tyres.

          BUT, throwing the principle out the window there is a massive possibility of greater excitement and overtaking in the races if the championship leading teams fail to optimize their set-up for the qualifying tyres and line up way down the grid order.

          In principle I just can’t support such gimmicky arrangements, but if this will stop one driver and team from getting pole position day in and day out, then I’ll probably support it.

      • Patrickl said on 15th August 2011, 13:10

        “This is what I don’t get ‘seriously spectacular qualifying laps’.”

        Spectacular doesn’t neccesarily mean cars drifting or crashing. Not in F1 at least.

        Spectacular is also in the relative times. It thought it was “spectacular” when Senna would drop the laptimes by a full second or more.

        Still even “spectacular” as in going off track or drifting is far less likely in the current regime. If the driver damages his tyres then he’s “in a bad place”.

        • Robbie said on 15th August 2011, 14:28

          To me this is just more talk of more ‘gadgets’…quali tires represents to me yet more artificial jigging to try to upset the usual order of things, like BE’s sprinkler idea, when in fact I think they should just simplify, reduce aero dependancy, and stabilize the rules in order to bring the field closer and put the racing in the hands of the drivers, not the gadgets.

          To me, unusually quick quali laps mean nothing when it is just because they have been given special tires…ie. there’s nothing that shows the talent of the driver when it is because he had special tires. I would rather see apples to apples quali and racing and would like quali to be an indication of how it is going for each driver on the weekend, even though there are differences as it is.

          So to me the answer is no, it is not time to bring back qualifying tires, it is time for stability and simplification and putting it in the hands of the driver, not the luck of the draw as to what tires when, or DRS when, or KERS when…

          • SeanG said on 15th August 2011, 14:44

            Exactly. stop the nonsense.

            Qualifying trim should be race trim.

          • vjanik said on 15th August 2011, 16:16

            A qualifying tyre is not a “gadget”. it is simply a very soft compound that gives the maximum grip but lasts for only a single flying lap before it wears out. given enough resources, and during a tyre war, every tyre manufacturer would have something like a qualifying tyre. Otherwise they would not be competitive in qualifying. It is a completely logical piece of technology and is as close as you will get to pure racing. So your comparison of a “gadget” and to the sprinkler system makes absolutely no sense to me.

            In a perfect world, we would not have to worry about the amount of tyres sent to each race and limit the teams as to which tyres they have to hand back and a rule saying they have to use both tyre compounds etc. We would just let them work with a tyre supplier of their choosing to develop tyres that suit their car best (Like Ferrari and bridgestone back in the day). You could use your “qualifying” tyres in the race if you wanted to. Basically pure racing.

            Of course this would be very expensive and less environmentally friendly. So the FIA need to resort creative rulemaking to artificially “spice up the racing”. It all comes down to money and PR at the end.

            I still think that it is a shame that the FIA didnt manage to enforce the budget cap. Basically here is your limit, build whatever you want. You would open up the rules and let the engineers be creative and innovative. The sport would be much simpler to the fans as they wouldnt have to list through an encyclopedia of rules to understand what is happening, and it we would have a larger variation between the different cars. You would be able to tell which car is which even without the livery. Plus it would make it easier for smaller teams to eneter f1 and be competitive.

            Unfortunately the big teams dont want to go through with this because they would not be able to spend their way out of trouble and they wouldnt want to fire half of their staff. So as a result we need the rules to be constantly changed to keep the costs down and to prevent the cars form being too fast and unsafe. If this continues we will eventualy end up with a “GP1″ where all cars are basically identical with the only thing separating them being the setup and the driver. I think the simpler and more appealing solution (and more true to what F1 started out as) would be the budget cap and total freedom.

          • PT (@pt) said on 17th August 2011, 8:08

            Agree with Robbie fully. I never supported the idea of having more degrading tyres at all, because it goes against the very principle of what Formula 1 is. So this sualifying tyre business is a definite no-no. I don’t understand where all these gimmicky stuff if leading to. We’re just driving around in circles.

            All this could have been avoided if multiple tyre manufacturers were allowed with limited testing. It is what F1 is all about – technical perfection and competition. Not purposely creating tyres that degrade faster and introduce artificial scenarios as qualifying tyres to spice up the action. At this rate Bernie’s artificial rain concept wouldn’t sound too bad!

            We keep saying F1 is the “ultimate, purest form of racing” and all that crap and we go back to introducing such childish video-gamish arrangements. As Luca di Montezemolo said, F1 needs to reduce the influence of aerodynamics. Simplifying this aspect can restore F1 to the pure exciting competition it once was.

            That said, till aerodynamic simplification takes place in F1 we may need such absurd arrangements to spice up the action and add more unpredictability.

          • javlinsharp said on 14th September 2011, 19:50

            I agree with Robbie
            Quali tires are just more gimmickery, artificiations to change the show.

            I do not, however agree with Parc Ferme rules. While I understand the point that the car which is qualified is the car that should be raced, I dont really understand why there is any special advantange

            If everyone can change settings, then there is not advantage to anyone. Sure, limit any special quali parts, but I feel jumbled results due to rain are kinda stupid. It makes no sense, indeed, is unsafe to force a driver to deal a dry setup on a wet track.

            Whats the advantage if its the same for everyone?

        • unocv12 said on 15th August 2011, 14:29

          I see were your coming from Patrick and I agree with that I think but not your analogies.

          It was spectacular to see Senna wipe 1 second off of Prost’s time.

          Whether he drives an F1 car, a WRC car or a V8 Supercar dropping the lap time by 1 second is spectacular, and I don’t see how quali tyres will do that any better.

          If the quali tyres are 1 second faster, then eveyrone is 1 second faster and I don’t see what is so spectacular about going 1 second a lap faster if EVERYONE does it. What makes it spectacular is if someone does an extra 1 second that no one else can.

          I agree that it is relative and that is my point. If the tyres are better for everyone then a better lap relatively speaking is a better lap relatively speaking regardless of the tyres it is done on.

          • Robbie said on 15th August 2011, 17:28

            vjanik…without a tire war or unlimited budgets the ‘qualifying’ tires they use now ARE competitive. You contend that all it would take for pure racing is a one-lap tire, all the while we have DRS and KERS…is that pure racing? Not to me. And a one-lap quali tire used in quali is not racing…the racing takes place on Sunday.

            Also, changing the rules constantly does not keep costs down…it elevates the costs as teams constantly need to go back to the drawing board to adapt to said rule changes…it is stability in the rules that keeps costs down.

      • Mads (@mads) said on 16th August 2011, 8:35

        Senna’s lap was spectacular because it was so much faster then anyone else. And it was on special qualifying tyres as well, as far as i remember.
        I think the laps will be spectacular because the drivers can go much quicker. The speed will be incredible and i think that will be amazing.
        I don’t see why wet vs dry has anything to do with it, the weather is still going to change.

        And the drivers will have to adapt to a different set of tyres very quickly. These days they run the soft compound in practice so they know how they work on that track with that setup.
        If they are only allowed to run the qualifying tyre in qualifying they will be jumping head first into the unknown at speeds we can’t even imagine and i think that would be very challenging for the drivers and really highlight their skill.

        “If I go to a GP, I want to see Hamilton, Alonso and co do several laps, not just 3 for the whole of quali. Currently they do 15 or so, much better.” That is right that it would limit the running in qualifying but right now it is limited a lot anyway. At least the Q-tyres will force anyone to do a lap, because there would be no need to save them for the race. There would be no strategy, just going flat out. In my book that is what qualifying should be all about.

  2. Raymondu999 said on 15th August 2011, 10:49

    I wonder. Would these not pose problems for cars that bring these tyres up to temperature fast? Paul Hembery was saying on Twitter that these would be 2s faster than the supersofts. Sounds like they’d overheat very easy

    • Nick.UK (@) said on 15th August 2011, 13:11

      That is true, however they are only meant to last for one lap. So if they burn out after a driver finishes his lap, it doesn’t matter. The time is in the bank, and they can choose to start on whatever tyre they want in the race. The rule meaning the driver has to start on the same tyre he qualifyed on would cease to exist with the re-introduction of a qualifying tyre.

      • raymondu999 said on 15th August 2011, 16:00

        I’m not talking about burning them up, but tyre temperature. Seeing as these will be ultrasoft tyres, they will heat up. And fast. We could see a problem that they could heat up too much. We always hear about getting tyres up to temperature, but in reality, these tyres have a narrow window in which to operate. If too cold, you have no grip. If too hot, you have no grip either.

        You would bloat the tyres up as pressures inside would balloon due to the heat buildup, and that would make you a LOT slower.

  3. babis1980 (@babis1980) said on 15th August 2011, 10:51

    In my opinion quali tyres will give something extra to Saturdays. But now I think that it is time to have a major shakedown to the tyre rules.

    Last year and in current season due to the absence of refulling we saw very little variations in strategy. If there were 3 different tyres for saturday and sunday(2 sets for each tyre), and no rule about which tyre a driver could use I think that we could see for sure more interesting racing.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 15th August 2011, 14:25

      Last year and in current season due to the absence of refuelling we saw very little variations in strategy

      That may have been so last year (though it did not produce worse racing than when we had with refuelling) and is certainly not the case this year.

      • babis1980 (@babis1980) said on 15th August 2011, 18:37

        I did not mention racing. Racing in F1 was never better. But I miss a win from 11th or 12th or even 20th (like Watson) with a great strategy. When was last time something like this happend without changeable conditions?

        And Webber did came 3rd in China from 18th but that was due to a great car and 3 new sets of soft tyres. Not his strategy (even though he did choose to start in the hard tyre).

        I think that pirelli will give more durable tyres for next year(they should have 4 tons of data by now) so why we shouldn’t have 3 different compounds and every driver would choose which tyre could give him the best strategy. Variety is the point I am making.

        But anyway, the quali tyre is the the way that Bernie would choose. So go for it.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 15th August 2011, 21:29

          I miss a win from 11th or 12th or even 20th (like Watson) with a great strategy.

          Well, as I said in the article…

          Nigel Mansell’s thrilling and improbable victory from 12th on the grid at the Hungaroring in 1989 was born from his difficulties getting the most out of the qualifying tyres and focussing on his race set-up instead.

          • Scalextric (@scalextric) said on 16th August 2011, 3:15

            We’ve seen a win from the back of the pack already this year, though not from a low qualifier (BUT, Canada). Just as improbable as Mansell in 1989, it could be argued.

            To me we already have qualifying tyres, in that sets of tyres are limited, forcing teams to strategize usage for the entire weekend, and the softer tyre is usually only good for one or two laps in qualifying. So the Q3 single lap or two attempts at a single lap is already the rule. Not much to be gained in excitement from watching back markers attempt to make Q2 or avoid the 107% rule with some super sticky tyres. So I say, just drop the requirement to start the race on quali tyres and we’re all set.

  4. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 15th August 2011, 10:51

    I’ve said this before, but it’s an argument that I like:

    Qualifying is so different from racing that it’s almost a sport in itself. Racing is all about managing fuel and tyres, about pressuring rivals into a mistake, about executing passes the moment you have an opportunity and pulling off the perfect pit stop.

    Qualifying, on the other hand, is all about one-lap pace – it’s about hitting every apex, about balancing the throttle and the brake exactly, and all in the name of pursuring the perfect lap. The car itself is in a completely different condition (low fuel, fresh tyres, etc.) compared to what it will be in the race. So why not have qualifying tyres, which would allow drivers to do this even more than they currently do?

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 15th August 2011, 11:44

      Put that way, it makes qualifying into the saturday pole challenge time trial.

      I like that. But I am not sure about this proposal of bringing Q tyres being the greatest way to bring it about.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 15th August 2011, 11:54

        Why not? They’re purpose-built for qualifying, and compliment everything that makes qualifying so distinct from the actual racing. And it’s not like drivers would have to choose between qualifying tyres, the primes or the options. Everyone would have the same tyres, and the same opportunity to use them. Especially if everyone ony gets one set per qulaifying period, so there’s maximum pressure to deliver.

        Plus, qualifying tyres would remove the rule that sees drivers start on the tyres they qualified with. This would allow drivers to start on whatever tyre they like and run any strategy from the start. When was the last time we saw someone in the top ten start the race on tyres other than whatever everyone else is using? Say we’ve got two Red Bulls and two McLarens in the top four places on the grid, and one of them – let’s say Jenson Button – started on the primes when everyone else used the options. It would give the teams one more factor to work around, and would therefore make the racing more unpredicatble.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 15th August 2011, 12:20

          I like the good things, but I am not too sure about having only one set per period, they might as well shorten Q3 to 6 minutes right away.
          And it would mean a really big difference to available sets of tyres for the race, as Pirelli mentioned, they plan not to bring more tyres then they currently do, so you would have to choose.

          As I wrote, Yes I like cars going full out in qualifying, but is this the best way to do it? Not sure.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 15th August 2011, 12:40

            I like cars going full out in qualifying, but is this the best way to do it?

            Why wouldn’t it be? Qualifying tyres were used so that cars could go faster when they were used in the 1980s. They’d be used for exactly the same purpose here. Hell, the current tyre regulations have one compound that is faster than the other, so it’s not like Pirelli would be doing anything different to what they’re already doing.

          • leadfoot (@leadfoot) said on 15th August 2011, 22:39

            I was just about to post the same thing that PM did here. On some tracks the difference in qualifying has been about a second between tyre compounds. That is not that far off where I would expect the gap to be so I don’t think it is very different to what we have now. Now bring on those turbos and give me qualifying boost and I’ll be a very happy chappy :)

        • If qualifying is so distinct from actual racing, why even have it?

          Might as well just have a random grid at each race.

          The people for qualifying tyres seem to think it is a show, while the people against realize it is just meant to determine grid order…not provide entertainment.

          • Mads (@mads) said on 16th August 2011, 8:47

            “The people for qualifying tyres seem to think it is a show, while the people against realize it is just meant to determine grid order…not provide entertainment.” Are you kidding? That is entertainment! It has its purpose, but the race is also just there to determine who gets the most laps done the quickest, so lets just forget about that and stop trying to make it more challenging, it isn’t entertainment anyway.
            Lets go and watch a demolition derby that is entertainment! Oh wait no that is to determine who is the best at keeping his car alive the longest.

    • Robbie said on 15th August 2011, 15:03

      To me qualifying shouldn’t be almost a sport in itself…it should very much relate to the race on Sunday.

      Qualifying (not just racing) is also about managing tires, and about pressuring rivals into a mistake via the stopwatch…go quicker than everyone else, and everyone else very quickly has to up their game…immediately…not over the next stint. And I don’t want to see that happen just because of special tires, rather a special lap by the driver. And right now the car itself is in not so completely different conditions in quali than the race…the top ten pretty much just have their tanks topped up and away they go…why make the difference greater?

      Racing (not just qualifying) is also about perfect laps and about dealing with fresh tires as well as not so fresh ones. Passes during the race using DRS haven’t gotten rave revues…why add to the artificial aspect of the weekend with more gadgets in the name of special quali tires?

      • leadfoot (@leadfoot) said on 15th August 2011, 22:36

        I understand where you are coming from however I don’t believe that the tyre performance and a special lap by the driver are mutually exclusive. I love qualifying tyres they make quali even more exciting and are just a tool to help the cars reach their maximum potential. All the aero, all the suspension, virtually everything on the car is designed around getting the most out of the tyres. It is about the 4 black corners and how they interact with the surface of the track. All quali tyres achieve is raising the ultimate grip level of the cars to extract a better lap time.

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 15th August 2011, 15:24

      If qualifying is almost a sport in itself, perhaps a couple of points should be given for pole if quali tyres are reintroduced. I’m not sure I’d have any misgiving about that. If anything, it would complement the use of quali tyres as it would support the notion that qualifying is a separate, spectacular affair.

      I decided to sit on the fence for the vote. I started off against the idea- I just couldn’t see the point. But now I do kinda like the idea, I’m just not sure how much I care, and believe the difficulties in implementation could be a problem. The quali format would have to change to avoid long periods of nothing. The amount of tyres would have to increase (not that this matters- the affect of one more truck transporting tyres is minimal if the current restrictions are in the name of savings) to allow teams maybe 2 runs per Q session (if they keep the same format) and some for practice.

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 15th August 2011, 15:59

        Actually my biggest worry is that it will spread out the field more. Red Bull are beginning to be troubled in quali (for example) and other teams are regularly separating them. But as Red Bull have clearly the best car for qualifying, wouldn’t and introduction of quali tyres see them extending the gap to the next cars and making it difficult to challenge even the slower of the Red Bulls? I’m just worried that if Red Bull maintain their advantage, then next season with quali tyres could see them 1-2 on the grid at virtually every race.

        • Robbie said on 15th August 2011, 16:25

          I guess it could go either way…I think the thinking here is that with special tires there could be some upsets in the ‘normal’ order of things, with a surprise lap from someone who on a more apples to apples comparison would not place as high up. Like on a changeable conditions day. But as you point out, it could just mean a top team would blow the field away…guess it depends on who sets the car up best for these special tires.

          I still can’t think of this as anything but just more gadgets to convolute things…I don’t want to see a fast lap just because of the tires, just as I don’t want to see a pass just because of DRS.

          And so what if a lesser car qualified high due to tires…there he sits on Sunday like a sitting duck on more apples to apples circumstances anyway, so we get to see him DRS’d to death in a few laps and all things end up as they should be anyway…

          I go back to my default position…keep mechanical grip coming, reduce aero dependancy, simplify, reduce costs, stabilize the rules, and we’ll have plenty of actual apples to apples racing, with passing being achieved by driver vs. driver and the seat of their pants, not the luck of the draw of whose gadget was working best at some particular time.

  5. ajokay (@ajokay) said on 15th August 2011, 10:55

    I don’t think they’re needed, really. Especially if it means reducing the amount of race tyres the teams have access to over the weekend. It’ll mean even less free practise running on Fridays and Saturday mornings, and we all know that’s the only time the teams get to test anything new outside of wind tunnel and simulator time.

    The super softs are fast enough, just bring an extra set of those per driver along to each race if need be, so they can really thrash a set of them in qualifying. It’ll give the top 10 a chance to really use the tyres, and it’ll give the lower teams an extra set to help boost the possibility of seeing them higher up the grid.

    As for the rule regarding the top 10 starting on the tyres they finished qualifying on, yes, having qualifying tyres would get rid of that. But not having qualifying tyres and simply saying “Hey, you know that rule where the top 10 have to start on the tyres they finished qualifying on? Yeah… thats a stupid rule, let’s scrap that” would too.

    Having said allllll of that, any plan to introduce more purple into F1 has my vote. They’d look good on the Simteks, if nothing else. Oh for it to be 1995 again…

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 15th August 2011, 11:46

      Yes, I like the Idea of it and Purple would be great.

      But I feel all the points you mentioned show how it there are a lot simpler ways to achieve the set goal. I guess this being F1, it can just never be done simple.

    • Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 15th August 2011, 20:13

      A money-saving top tip then – just have an extra set of super-softs for the top 10, but with purple markings on. Save the cost of developing a new kind of tyre. But Pirelli will have to open a tin of purple paint.

      8 minutes of tedium? Better than 45 minutes like we used to have! And it’ll be 8 minutes of anticipation…

  6. raymondu999 said on 15th August 2011, 10:55

    I wonder if this will hurt some of the more aggressive do or die drivers like Lewis. One lockup early on and it would compromise the rest of the lap for him. I can’t wait to see these tyres in Monaco quali though :D

    • IF anything it would help people like LH, he’d just ring there necks (boots)….
      and he wouldn’t have to worry about doing the 1st 10 – 15 laps of the race on them.
      At the moment if you flat spot it can compromise your 1st stint, I’d see this as a gain over the present situation if you make a mistake such as the one mentioned.

      • raymondu999 said on 15th August 2011, 15:57

        Not quite accurate. If for example, in Melbourne, Lewis flatspots his front right in Turn 3, as is customary, then for the rest of the lap he will be compromised by that tyre.

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 15th August 2011, 16:21

      One lockup early and there might be enough life in the tyres to coast the rest of the lap and them attempt another.

      • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 17th August 2011, 3:48

        With the way these tyres are meant to be 2s faster, 1 single lockup will mean the locked-up tyre will be finished badly. There won’t even be enough tyre life to complete the lap pushing, let alone do a complete lap

  7. Julian (@julian) said on 15th August 2011, 10:56

    A yes from me but i don’t want to see the teams running less in practice to save tyres for the race. The way i see it, it isn’t worth sacrificing 3 sets of of tyres that can be used in quali and then again in the race for 3 sets that can only be used once in quali. A bit contradictory but oh well :P

    I’m sure Pirelli can work something out, even if its just 2 sets of quali tyres at the cost of one set of prime and options (or even 2 primes). That would make some interesting strategies for qualifying; the backmarkers and midfield using their 2 sets in Q1 and Q2 and the front runners either saving them all for Q3 or using one set in Q2 and Q3 respectively.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 15th August 2011, 11:06

      i don’t want to see the teams running less in practice to save tyres for the race

      Why not? It would mean they run a compromised setup. Which would mean there’s a greater chance for an unexpected result in qualifying and the race.

      • Julian (@julian) said on 15th August 2011, 12:16

        A purely selfish reason of course :) haha
        I guess I just like to see the drivers out on the track rather then in the garage trying to save tyres for the race. The way the tyre rules are now, how they have to give a few sets back between practice, is there to encourage the teams to take to the track on friday, and these new quali tyres have the probability to hamper that, which is my only concern with them.

      • craig-o (@craig-o) said on 15th August 2011, 13:21

        But then that defeats the whole point of it. Qualifying tyres are proposed to well and truly show who is quickest on a one-lap pace, but if some cars are set up for a race, and others more towards quali, it’s still not a compromise.

        There’s no actual reason why they should bring back qualifying tyres. It goes against Formula 1′s ever-growing green image and it will not show who’s quickest on a one-lap sprint.

  8. Ned Flanders (@ned-flanders) said on 15th August 2011, 11:07

    As mentioned in the article, the reality is cars would presumably sit in the garage most of the session to save their tyres. Surely the priority now is to remedy the problem of inactivity in qualifying- a move to qualifying tires would only worsen it.

    However, if the rule makers can think of a way to solve this problem, I’d give qualifying tyres a cautious thumbs up. I remain to be convinced there is a solution though

    • Cacarella said on 15th August 2011, 14:29

      I guess to make sure you have some track action for the entire hour they could introduce one-at-a-time qualifying a-la NASCAR. A lot of the teams and media have been saying that track evolution is not as prominent with the new Pirelli compounds so the last one to qualify wouldn’t get THAT great of an advantage. Perhaps they qualify in the same order as the finishing order of the previous race? Winner going last?

      I don’t like the idea myself, just thought of it as a solution to the no track time dilemma. They should probably just leave well enough alone.

      I also tweeted Paul Hembery and mentioned that one of the other consequences would be that it would be more likely for the back of the grid to be knocked out with 107% rule as they wouldn’t have the current advantage of running the softest tyre in Q1

  9. As an older fan, I’d love to see qualifying tires back. An F1 car from 1989-1991 on a full-beans qualifying run, looked so spectacular and would often set times, that would be respectable on today’s F1 grid.
    You can really see the increase in pure performance, when those tyres were used.
    More important than qualifying tyres though, is the point made about scrapping the rule where you have to start the race on the tyres you set your fastest qualifying time on.
    As pointed out, this rule has only served to lessen the strategy options(Start on primes, when the fuel load is largest, then get on the options later, with a lighter car(Webber in China, for example), for maximum benefit.

  10. schooner (@schooner) said on 15th August 2011, 11:17

    If qualifying tires were of a special compound, and supplied in lieu of a certain number of race tires, I don’t see it working out very well. I also don’t like the idea of super-sticky, one lap specials. My thought is that Perelli could simply provide an extra set or two of the softest race compound for qualifying only. This would, hopefully, serve the purpose of keeping cars on track during the qualy sessions, which is really the only problem with the current system. Any unused sets could be re-distributed as part of the normal race tire allotment.

  11. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 15th August 2011, 11:28

    Pirelli haven’t though through their wish cull race tyres for qualifying tyres, so they don’t have to bring any extra amounts to a race.

    If we assume one set of qualifying tyres per qualifying session, that will only leave three sets of tyres for the race! That’s before we bear in mind they’ll have practice mileage on them too, as the teams only get one free set of tyres per compound on Friday, which they then have to hand back.

    Of course, not every car will go through all qualifying sessions and so in theory Pirelli need only bring enough qualifying sets for all the cars that do (24+17+10 instead of 24×3) and if you’re knocked out in Q2 or Q1 you get to keep an extra set or two of race tyres, which gives them a small advantage. However, I’m not sure I like the idea of rewarding teams who qualify worse! We’ve already seen with the Top Ten Rule that just missing out can be better than just getting through a qualifying session.

    And of course, one run per qualifying session would be boring. So what I say is keep everything as it is but just have qualifying tyres for Q3. I know two sets for every car is 80 extra tyres for Pirelli, but it just wouldn’t work to have qualifying tyres but bring the same amount of tyres overall – not unless we go back to Bridgestone levels of durability…

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 15th August 2011, 11:52

      When first heard of this idea, I thought about doing exactly the same as you propose. Bring them for Q3, so everyone will have a go (I would like to see them good for up to 2 laps depending on driver/car) in that session.
      And it would enable cars to have alterante strategy for the race start, so someone who is worried about tyres can start on the harder ones, if wished.

  12. W-K (@w-k) said on 15th August 2011, 11:28

    If there is to be a 2 sec step to the quali’s then all driverss would need to use them in Q1, especially on w/ends where the tyres brought for the race are soft and mediums, which would be a three second step.

    Question has any body really thought this through or do we not know all of the proposal?

    At the moment, with present knowledge, I have to say NO.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 15th August 2011, 12:22

      Maybe Pirelli would bring only one set? So the backmarkers have a slightly better change of getting through, but then are left with no fast tyre for Q2.

      And the rest will use them in Q2, leaving us with drivers on regular softer tyres for Q3? Hm, the more I think about it, the more I feel really reluctant to support this.

      • W-K (@w-k) said on 15th August 2011, 12:38

        If they only brought one set per driver then the back markers would use them in Q1, they would then be in front of the mid field, so they would use them, then of course they would be in front of the front runners so they would have to use them to be certain of progressing.

        Ugh that wouldn’t work would it.

  13. Kiril Varbanov (@kiril-varbanov) said on 15th August 2011, 11:29

    There are always pros and cons. Some questions:

    - How many tires will be allowed per weekend?
    - Will there be ruled usage, as in: at least two out of the available four sets?
    - Their working temperature: some teams will have advantage over others
    - How different will they be (the Q tires) and would that pose a major change in car setup?
    - Will those tires remove the need of the stupid rule of “start with the same type of tires as in Q” – Hopefully yes. This should bring more flexible strategies.

  14. supernicebob (@supernicebob) said on 15th August 2011, 11:35

    Not sure how quali tyres would work without a change of how the whole quali session works. For them to make any sense there would have be an extremely limited number of sets available to each driver, preferably only one. But in that instance the lower teams would use them up in Q1 which would have a knock on effect resulting in the whole grid having to use them. If they had one set available for each part of quali then it wouldn’t really be much different from what happens at the moment. So then you’d maybe look into going back to one big quali session but if there was only one set of quali tyres then everyone would just go out at the end like they used to. So you’d probably look at either the other old system of one flying lap for each driver. Or perhaps sticking with one communal session but with a reduced length. That then begins to raise questions about the whole structure of a GP weekend and whether it really needs to be 3 days. As a TV fan, 2 days would be quite good, but as a race going fan (assuming ticket prices would not change as there’s not really much difference between a weekend and race day ticket at the moment anyway) then it would seem a bit of a swindle.

  15. I like the idea, but with some modifications:

    Pirelli should only provide qualifying tyres to Q3 runners, so as to ensure that the guy in 11th doesn’t have an advantage over the guy in 10th. Since you’re just providing tyres to 10 cars instead of 24, you can now provide 2 sets of quali tyres to each car (and still save on costs compared to supplying the whole grid with it). And you’d get 10 great minutes of action!

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