FIA confirms Q3 changes to encourage more running

2014 F1 season

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Singapore, 2013The FIA has confirmed further changes to qualifying ahead of the first race of the season.

Updated Sporting Regulations published by the FIA today include a series of changes intended to encourage drivers who reach the final stage of qualifying to set a time.

Any driver who reaches Q3 must now start the race on the set of tyres which he set his fastest time with in Q2. As before, this only applies if dry weather tyres were used for both Q2 and the start of the race.

Every driver will also be allocated an additional set of “option” compound tyres. Those who reach Q3 may only use it in that part of qualifying, and those who do not reach Q3 may only use them during the race.

This increases the total allocation of dry-weather tyres for each driver this year to 13. This is an increase from 11 last year, including the extra set of “prime” specification tyres for first practice which was previously announced.

The durations of two of the sessions have also been changed. Q3 has been extended by two minutes to 12 and Q1 shortened by a corresponding amount, in order to give drivers more time to set laps in Q3.

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99 comments on FIA confirms Q3 changes to encourage more running

  1. Did the ‘start on the tires you qualified on’ rule actually benefit F1? From what I’ve seen, most of the drivers below 10th place choose the option tire to start on. After a wet qualifying, the vast majority of drivers still choose to start on the option when given a free tire choice.

  2. Tomsk (@tomsk) said on 12th March 2014, 20:12

    I wish they’d just given the top ten an extra set, and let everybody pick their race tyres on Sunday.

    But rules have to be over-complicated these days, and the back half of the grid have to be rewarded for being rubbish with an extra set of race tyres, and the field artificially closed up in yet another stupid way.

    I hope, with the extra set, teams won’t try to race slowly to save tyres, and we’ll see more drivers whack a fresh set on late in the race and go for it.

  3. Sean Doyle (@spdoyle17) said on 12th March 2014, 20:17

    I understood it fairly easily the first time I read about it, but the problem is it’s a bandage when the cure – giving every team one new set per session, and letting everyone start on fresh rubber regardless of qualification, is simple and effective.

    Why not streamline qualification further, then? Change qualifying to two sessions, (bottom half eliminated after Q1), and increase the time. Say, half an hour for the first session, and twenty minutes for the second. That’d give enough time in Q2 for two two-lap runs.

    With just one extra set per qualifying session, you’d see some strategy play out as well. Perhaps the teams expecting to be in the final session would use scrubbed options in Q1 on their first run, and sit waiting to see where the bubble time is, and then do their late run on their fresh set. In the final session, they’d still have enough options out of their full allotment that they could go through both sets without worries about the race. The lower midfield and backmarkers could push all-out in Q1 and force the hands of the faster teams, as well. Who knows, in degrading conditions through the final qualy, a lucky low-midfielder could snag pole with an early hot lap – easier with only two rounds instead of three.

    It wouldn’t be gimmicky, but the results of something so straightforward would be even more exciting. Kind of like Yas Marina – a great (albeit flat) track could have been designed easily on that plot of land, by doing something straightforward and making it more like a classic circuit. Instead, we have the turn combinations of 5-7, 8-9, and 11-13 designed to inhibit passing, while 15-19 could have easily been designed to flow more like natural esses. Both tyre rules and track designs are what happens when those in charge decide to force unneeded complication where simplicity would be widely appreciated.

    Considering the forum piece from yesterday, silliness like this makes me wonder how healthy F1 would be had Tony George not created the Indy Racing League. Bernie and Mosley got lucky, and now Bernie and Todt don’t care because all they see is a monopoly on “Premier.”

  4. Kanil (@kanil) said on 12th March 2014, 20:26

    Having a 13 minute qualifying session followed by a 12 minute qualifying session just seems like a way to troll the TV commentators.

  5. Tiomkin said on 12th March 2014, 20:27

    F1, the new kings in sport entertainment. Roll over WWE you have been well an truly beaten.
    Still waiting for the compulsory clown shoes to make driving a bit more challenging and to improve the ‘show’. F1 is a complete joke.

  6. vishy (@vishy) said on 12th March 2014, 20:51

    Oh Lord, not again!
    Really this complicated???

  7. So afraid of change most of u are, its not the end of the world trust me.

  8. Scalextric (@scalextric) said on 12th March 2014, 21:14

    Tweaking the tyre allocations may well make the on-track action more interesting for the paying spectators and more attractive to the TV channels that, in effect, pay for this sport. But the poor TV viewer is going to have to sit through this rule being explained in Q2 and Q3 for every race, and it can’t be explained quickly with a simple on screen graphic. So the repetition (For the new viewer!) will become tedious and insulting to the intelligence.

    I do not look forward to being treated like a simpleton by my TV every other Saturday, I get enough of that from my kids.

  9. VMaxMuffin (@vmaxmuffin) said on 12th March 2014, 21:14

    I think this is better, but honestly they shouldn’t force them to start on any tyre. They should just start on whatever tyres they. Also, why give an extra option tyre to all the drivers who don’t make Q3? It should just be for those who do…

  10. money (@carlos-danger) said on 12th March 2014, 21:23

    more complicated rules written by some pencil pushing FIA bureaucrat.

  11. Aced (@aced) said on 12th March 2014, 21:43

    Every driver will also be allocated an additional set of “option” compound tyres. Those who reach Q3 may only use it in that part of qualifying, and those who do not reach Q3 may only use them during the race.

    What? This is the most ridiculous solution they could’ve come up with. What the hell is up with FIA and this whole giving an advantage to some over others stupidity the past few years?

    So, if I understand it correctly, those who qualify to Q3 will only be able to use the extra set of option in Q3. However, those who qualify outside of Q3 get an extra set for the race and have the free tyre choice option. Sounds legit.

  12. craig-o (@craig-o) said on 12th March 2014, 21:59

    This is actually great. I’m not sure why there’s so much criticism on here really. Drivers now have no excuse to not set a time at all in Q3, and it makes Q2 arguably more strategy based for the top teams.

  13. BarnstableD (@barnstabled) said on 12th March 2014, 22:11

    There are a few issues with this:

    1. Drivers who don’t qualify as well are rewarded with a set of new option tyres for the race. It could be argued that in some situations it would be better to start 11th on new tyres with an extra fresh set of options than 10th on slightly worn tyres without the bonus set.

    2. As Q3 drivers have to start the race on Q2 tyres, teams expecting to make Q3 will do minimal running in Q2 to reduce the wear on these tyres. This means less action in Q2 and could lead to some drivers being ‘caught out’ and failing to qualify for Q3.

    3. Increased costs of having to produce and bring another 44 tyres to each Grand Prix in an era where F1 is concerned with cutting costs.

    4. Overly-complicated rules that could distance the sport from some viewers.

    I really don’t see why the rules couldn’t be that only Q3 drivers gain an extra set of options to use only in Q3 – thus eliminating the benefits for some drivers to sit out Q3 as seen last year. Also, scrap the rule where Q3 drivers must start on Q2 tyres as this adds absolutely nothing to the race spectacle and is just rule-making for the sake of it.

    This would give: no drivers sitting out Q3, no drivers runnning as little as possible in Q2, reduced costs, simplified rules for viewers.

  14. Loup Garou (@loup-garou) said on 12th March 2014, 22:31

    I think the way this is expected to work is this:
    – A driver chooses a fast tyre for Q2 and does a very fast lap early on - just enough to be in the top 10 and so qualify for Q3.
    – In Q3 itself, he can go hell for leather to get the best grid position he can, knowing that he is not obliged to use those tyres at the start of the race

  15. skipgamer (@skipgamer) said on 12th March 2014, 22:40

    Why does everyone think starting on fresh rubber is better? Seems like people need a bit of a lesson on the benefits of having a set of scrubbed tyres.

    I’d really like to see the stats on people who’ve started 10th, not set a time, and their subsequent result. I bet it’s no where near as much of an advantage as people think.

    Whole lot of complaining for nothing here and think its a good move to remove this “gimmick” strategy.

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