Domenicali wants qualifying rules change

2011 Japanese Grand Prix

Stefano Domenicali, Ferrari, Suzuka, 2011

Stefano Domenicali, Ferrari, Suzuka, 2011

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali says the qualifying rules should be changed to stop drivers aborting flying laps.

Four of the ten drivers in the final part of qualifying at Suzuka did not set times. Three drivers did the same in Singapore.

Domenicali said: “Once again today, as has happened before during this season, we have seen cars ?ǣ no less than four in Q3 ?ǣ give up on doing a flying lap.

“Far be it for me to criticise those who made this choice, which is absolutely respectable from a technical point of view, I think it shows something is not right in the way qualifying is run and we should give it some careful thought for the future, because I don?t think it?s such a good thing for the spectators in the grandstand, who, I must say here are amazing in the way they make you feel their passion for Formula 1 and for those who are watching on television.”

Renault chief race engineer Alan Permane explained why neither of their drivers did a run in qualifying:

“We decided that in a straight fight in Q3 we would have struggled to make much more ground on our positions in the top ten ?ǣ it would have been difficult to beat [Michael] Schumacher anyway – so we decided to put both cars out on [scrubbed] medium tyres to ensure we had the luxury of choosing our starting tyre tomorrow afternoon.”

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74 comments on Domenicali wants qualifying rules change

  1. Huron (@huron) said on 8th October 2011, 11:18

    Fans, please stop whining about it. This provides great action in the race. That is all that matters.

    You do not remember qualifying after Sunday. Please stop being short sighted and superficial.

  2. Gerry said on 8th October 2011, 11:18

    This seems to have everything to do with ‘tyre saving’ for the race, which gives the slower cars a bit of an ‘advantage’ over the faster cars; i.e they end up with a better choice of tryes at the start of the race so thats an adventage. It would be great if ‘ALL’ the teams were allocated the same number of tyres each for the start of the ‘race’ irrespective of the number or type of tyres they used during practice and qualifying. This way everyone would be on a level playing field. This way everyone would be encouraged to continue to run during qualifying instead of ‘opting out’ in Q3 for example.
    Just a thought!!!

  3. SamC (@samc) said on 8th October 2011, 11:52

    If the tires are this much of a problem then there does have to be a question of Pirelli and whether they have the right compounds for the track.
    That said I’m not sure we can blame Pirelli or the qualifying system for the wide range of car ability with such an obvious 3 tiers of performance which is the major reason that we don’t have as much fighting for places or variation in grid positions. It seems to be over-reliant on driver error, team misjudgement or mechanical failure to produce any surprises.
    I would hesitate to change the way qualifying is at the moment though until the mechanical rules have settled down, there are so many enforced changes in the cars next year and the following year which, in theory, should make things closer and more exciting.
    It gives Pirelli a chance to have learned from the data collected after this year in F1.
    As tempting as it is to change loads of things it makes it very difficult taking the sport forwards to know what changes will have what effect.
    Very difficult to get stability, innovation, excitement, fairness and simplicity. This year I’ve found it a little bit difficult to keep up with all the technology arguments DRS, EBD, KERS etc and start to wonder whether F1 should even be trying to be the pinnacle of every technology at the same time or whether it’s just getting too complicated and expensive for it too continue innovating all of them and know from the start of the season that the balance of rules, cars, teams and drivers are going to provide an exciting and interesting season of racing for the fans who seem to have been forgotten. Without fans being interested (not just the fanatics who are prepared to put all the time and effort in) the sport will start to decline.
    Sorry realise it’s all a bit rambly, wish I had the talent to write it better.

  4. Mallesh Magdum (@malleshmagdum) said on 8th October 2011, 12:00

    would be interested to see your comments if Alonso or Vettel has a minor problem with their car and fail to set a time in q3….then, going by some comments, they would have to start from the back…..will u guys and Domenicalli accept it?

  5. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 8th October 2011, 12:17

    I agree with Stefano, frankly it’s pathetic and insulting to the people who paid good money to then not see four cars go out for a qualifying lap.

    Forget giving them extra tyres as an incentive, the rules are fine as they are, no time set sends you to the back of the grid, sorted. The rules shouldn’t have to dance around the teams to get them to do what they’re already given TV money to do.

  6. DavidS (@davids) said on 8th October 2011, 12:27

    I think a special type of qualifying tyre is needed to stop teams from not going out in a session. If you gave everyone a couple of sets of super sticky tyres that only last a full flying lap, you will see the drivers out almost the entire session trying to set the absolute fastest time, without worrying about not taking too much out of the tyres to be used in the race.

  7. DT (@dt) said on 8th October 2011, 13:14

    Giving teams quali tyres doesn’t guarantee that teams will do more runs. Remember they have to manage fuel as well. Bring back the days of re-fuel and give quali tyres and we’ll be in for a great race weekend

  8. Eggry (@eggry) said on 8th October 2011, 13:48

    I don’t like qualifying tyre idea because it’s quite expensive solution, but given situation today, it would be much better than nothing. Is it coincident that Japan suggested tyre rule change again?(I mean, monsoon tyre last year)

  9. Mads (@mads) said on 8th October 2011, 14:05

    Maybe they could give the teams that made the cut to Q3 a set of brand new options and if they choose to run a flying lap on it they will be able to trade in another set of options of their own choice for the 4th set of options they used in Q3. They would therefore end up with as many tyres as the others, for the race, but they the extra lap in Q3 would be free, so there would be no reason not to.
    That would mean that a team that runs options in Q1 and Q2 can basically for free set a time in Q3 on a new set because that set would then go instead of one of the sets they used in Q1 or Q2.

    I think that would be a better solution then giving all the drivers a set more, because then they would just save that for the race as well and the situation would be the same, along with using more tyres over a weekend.

  10. If a driver doesn’t set a time in Q3, then the next fastest driver from Q2 should take his place.

    So if one driver in Q3 didn’t set a time, then the driver who finished 11th in Q2 would swap race grid positions.

    If two drivers didn’t set times in Q3, then 11th & 12th would start 9th & 10th respectively.

    So tomorrow’s race would start:
    7. Sutil (11th)
    8. Di Resta (12th)
    9. Barrichello (13th)
    10. Maldonado (14th)
    11. Schumacher (7th)
    12. Petrov (9th)
    13. Senna (8th)
    14. Kobayashi (10th)

    Note that Petrov & Senna are ordered by their Q2 times, not Q3 defaulted times.

  11. taurus (@taurus) said on 8th October 2011, 15:29

    Its simple – for every qualifying session you are in, you MUST set a laptime. If you get through to Q2 or Q3 and dont set a time, you go to the back of the grid.

    I’d also like the times to be representative, so if someone gets through to Q3 but sets a fastest time that is slower than someone knocked out in Q2, they line up behind them on the grid. This would stop drivers doing a two minute lap to save their tyres.

    Getting rid of the silly two-compound rules might help too.

  12. Hotbottoms (@hotbottoms) said on 8th October 2011, 16:44

    I don’t think the problem can be solved by handing penalties to those teams/drivers, which refuse to drive in Q3 as some people have suggested in the comments. It’s hard or impossible to make sure that those drivers would make their best and wouldn’t just save their tyres. Neither do I think that some sort of extra set of tyres for Q3 would be a solution. It makes thinks too complex.

    In my opinion, there are five simple options:

    1) Keep the current rule. Sure, some teams will not drive in Q3, but does that really matter? It doesn’t really bother me, but the rule allows more options for strategy, which in my opinion makes F1 more interesting.

    2) Force everyone to start the race with the set of tyres that they used to make their fastest time in the last part of qualifying that they took part in. This would stop teams from not driving, because they want to have more options on Sunday. However, teams could still save their tyres.

    3) Let everyone decide on Sunday, which set of tyres they want to start with. However, teams could still save their tyres.

    4) Make qualifying positions matter more. Give the eight or nine best drivers some sort of advantage. For instance, let them use DRS one lap before others.

    5) Give teams separate sets of tyres for qualifying and race. All teams can decide on Sunday, which of their race sets they want to use.

  13. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 9th October 2011, 2:24

    I don’t see anything wrong with it! It’s simply how people make use of the situation.

  14. manatcna (@manatcna) said on 9th October 2011, 4:17

    If you get through to Q3 you must set a time or you go to the back of the grid.

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